Merck KGaA ready for more deals - CEO

FRANKFURT Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:53pm EST

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FRANKFURT Feb 20 (Reuters) - Diversified drugs and chemicals group Merck KGaA is ready to pursue a takeover worth billions to boost its medicines unit even after making an offer for AZ Electronic Materials, its chief executive told a German newspaper.

"We can easily invest a high single-digit billion amount, without endangering our good rating," CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley was quoted as saying by daily Handelsblatt.

Standard & Poor's has a long-term issuer rating 'A' with a stable outlook on Merck.

Germany's Merck, the world's largest maker of liquid crystals used in TVs, tablet and smartphone screens, in December agreed to buy Britain's AZ Electronic Materials AZEM.L for $2.6 billion to expand its range of specialist chemicals for hi-tech gadgets.

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