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Merck KGaA to buy Versum in all-cash deal valued at 5.8 billion euros

Ciara Linnane

Merck KGaA said Friday it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Versum Materials Inc. in a deal with an enterprise value of 5.8 billion euros ($6.6 billion). Merck will pay $53 per Versum share in cash to create a top supplier of high-purity process chemicals, gases and equipment for semiconductor manufacturing, the company said in a statement. The deal is expected to immediately boost Merck's per-share earnings and to close in the second half. Versum's board has terminated its merger agreement with Entegris Inc. on the grounds that the Merck offer is superior. The deal will be financed with cash on hand and debt via a facilities agreement with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas Fortis and Deutsche Bank AG. Merck is determined to maintain its strong investment grade rating, it said in a statement. Versum shares were slightly higher premarket, but have gained 38% in the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%.