Germany's Merck KGaA says ready for more deals

FRANKFURT Fri May 9, 2014 4:41am EDT

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FRANKFURT May 9 (Reuters) - German chemicals and pharmaceuticals company Merck KGaA told shareholders on Friday it had the financial firepower for more takeovers after bagging Britain's AZ Electronic Materials for $2.6 billion.

"We are able to take ambitious steps. We can afford investments and acquisitions," Chief Executive Karl-Ludwig Kley said in a speech at the group's annual general meeting.

Its strong cash flow would allow it to swiftly pay back any debt.

"We will use this leeway over the next few years," Kley added.

Merck, the world's largest maker of liquid crystals for display screens, completed the takeover of AZ last week. It plans to delist the maker of high-tech chemicals for tablet computers and smart phones from the London Stock Exchange at the beginning of June.

(Reporting by Frank Siebelt; Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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