Minerals Technologies Inc (MTX.N) raised its offer for U.S. minerals and materials group Amcol International Corp ACO.N for the second time, valuing the company at $1.46 billion.
Minerals Technologies hiked its offer by about 6 percent to $45 per share after AMCOL agreed to be bought by rival bidder France's Imerys S.A. (IMTP.PA) for $42.75 per share last week.
AMCOL on Monday said it continued to recommend the transaction with Imersys to its stockholders, but said the revised offer from Mineral Technologies could be considered a superior proposal.
AMCOL, which owns large reserves of mineral bentonite used in the construction and energy industries, is incorporated in Delaware, where public companies are typically required to accept the highest offer in a deal.
Minerals Technologies on Monday also said JPMorgan has committed to provide funding for a deal.
Minerals Technologies, which produces calcium carbonate, used to whiten everything from paper to talc, maintained that a deal would immediately add to earnings on closing, expected in the first half of 2014.
Lazard is the lead financial adviser to Minerals Technologies, while Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is serving as the legal counsel. JPMorgan is also acting as a financial advisers, Minerals Technologies said.
Minerals Technologies first raised its offer for AMCOL, which has a market capitalization of about $1.5 billion, to $42.50 on February 24 after which Imerys increased its bid to $42.75.
Minerals Technologies initially offered $42 per share on February 14, topping the rival's $41 offer.
Minerals Technologies shares closed at $53.11 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, while AMCOL shares closed at $46.35.
(Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty and Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel and Michael Perry)