Merck KGaA extends offer period for AZ for fourth time

FRANKFURT Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:41pm EST

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FRANKFURT Feb 28 (Reuters) - German liquid crystal maker Merck KGaA has extended the offer period for its planned takeover of Britain's AZ Electronic Materials for a fourth time as it awaits approval for the deal from Chinese antitrust regulators.

"While discussions with the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (MOFCOM) are proceeding constructively and are advancing, MOFCOM's review is still continuing," Merck said in a statement on Friday.

Shareholders now have until March 14 to tender their stock. The previous offer period would have expired on Feb. 28.

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

It said on Friday that 64 percent of AZ shares had been tendered. Merck has made its offer contingent on securing at least 95 percent of the share capital.

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