BASF says it is ready to counter any takeover approach, activist investor

FRANKFURT, June 18 (Reuters) - BASF, the world’s largest chemicals maker by sales, said it was mindful of the risk of an unsolicited takeover approach or of an attack from activist investors and was ready to react.

Speaking at BASF’s virtual annual shareholders’ meeting, Chief Executive Martin Brudermueller said he could not rule out unwanted attempts to take control over the company, given the decline in its market value.

“We are monitoring market developments and are preparing for such situations,” said Brudermueller, adding that being transparent about its business and future strategy was the most important tool to ward off unwanted approaches.

The group’s market value has lost more than 20% this year to 49 billion euros ($55 billion) as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on global industrial demand for BASF’s chemicals and plastics.

$1 = 0.8892 euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss; editing by Thomas Seythal