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( BF) said it's considering its options in the wake of


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move to reject BASF's $37-a-share offer and put the company on the block.

Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF said it "welcomes Engelhard's decision to consider the sale of the company in an expeditious manner as the best way to increase value for Engelhard's stockholders." But BASF added that it "continues to believe its all-cash offer of $37 per share is fair and compelling and that Engelhard's rejection of this offer deprives its stockholders of an opportunity to realize a significant and timely return."

"We are committed to our goal of acquiring Engelhard," said Chairman Jurgen Hambrecht. "It remains our strong preference to work with Engelhard's board toward a negotiated transaction, which would benefit Engelhard's stockholders, employees and customers. However, in their response to our tender offer, Engelhard did not provide any information that would prompt us to improve the terms of our current offer."

BASF said it is still prepared to raise its offer by as much as $1 per share should Engelhard provide additional information that justifies this increase in value. Shares of Engelhard rose 56 cents Tuesday to $40.27.