Elementis ends PE talks

The Elementis board said it had not been able to negotiate an acceptable offer with the unnamed private equity firm that tabled a speculative offer in December.

Elementis, the chemicals company, has terminated all negotiations with private equity firms that had expressed an interest in the company. Shares have fallen on the news.

The Elementis board said it was “not possible to obtain an acceptable offer”. Shares in Elementis have fallen 8.3 per cent to 71.5p this morning as a result of the announcement.

Elementis disclosed in December that it had been approached by an unnamed private equity firm with a view to doing a deal. Shares rocketed to about 110p from about 75p on the news.

The bidder in question was widely believed to be Candover, which already has chemical firms in its portfolio. But there was also speculation that Advent, Duke Street or CVC might have made the approach.

Jonathan Fry, Elementis’s chairman, said he was disappointed that the approach had come to nothing. “We are naturally disappointed that, following the speculative approach from a financial buyer and the subsequent in-depth marketing exercise, an acceptable offer for the company has not been forthcoming.”

Elementis had sales of £573.8 million and pre-tax profits of £58.4m last year.