Minerals Technologies Lifts Amcol Bid to $1.74B

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Minerals Technologies  (MTX) has returned with a sweetened bid for Amcol International (ACO), offering $1.74 billion for the mineral producer to again leap past a competing offer from Imerys.

New York-based Minerals Technologies is offering $45.75 per share for Amcol, trumping a $45.25 per share bid submitted March 4 by Imerys. Mineral Technologies also removed a financing contingency from its offer, saying it has signed commitment papers from JPMorgan Chase (JPM) to finance the purchase.

Minerals Technologies chairman and CEO Joseph C. Muscari called the latest bid "clearly superior," in a statement and said Amcol would be a good fit inside his organization.

"We are highly confident in the merits of this transaction, including the strategic fit, the $50 million of specific and readily available synergies and the substantial growth opportunities for our shareholders," Muscari said.

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Amcol is one of the world's largest producers of bentonite and has substantial reserves of the mineral, which is used in the construction of metal parts, sealing products and in some consumer products.

Paris-based Imerys in early February announced plans to acquire Amcol for $41 per share in cash, but Minerals Technologies stepped in days later with an initial $42 per share offer that was eventually raised to $42.50.

After a series of bids and counters, Imerys returned with a $45.25 per share bid earlier this week after Amcol's board said it had decided that the Minerals Technologies offer could be superior and said it would engage in talks.

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