Germany’s Brenntag in takeover talks with US rival

Brenntag chief executive Christian Kohlpain

MUNICH: Brenntag SE says it held preliminary discussions with US rival Univar Solutions Inc regarding a potential acquisition, as the German chemicals distributor seeks to expand its footprint in the United States.

The move comes after Brenntag chief executive Christian Kohlpain this month said the company was eyeing the North American market with more interest.

He added that it planned to double annual spending in mergers and acquisitions.

Kohlpain said the North American market was “more robust than a lot of people think” and could have a competitive advantage over the energy crisis-stricken European market.

Brenntag said the Univar talks were ongoing and that it was not foreseeable whether there will be any kind of transaction.

Bloomberg News first reported the proposed deal on Friday.

Brenntag has said it plans to double its annual spending for mergers and acquisitions to between €400mil (US$415.80mil or RM1.9bil) and €500mil (RM2.3bil) as part of a strategic growth plan.

Univar confirmed a preliminary indication of interest from Brenntag in a statement on Friday, without giving additional details.

Surging gas prices have severely hit German chemical producers this year. — Reuters

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