German chemicals giant BASF to snap up Cognis in a €3.1bn deal

Chemical industry giant BASF has agreed to buy Cognis in a long-touted €3.1bn (£2.6bn) deal, including debt, betting on the cosmetic additives maker to protect it from economic turbulence.

In the largest European chemical industry takeover this year, BASF will pay Cognis’ private equity owners Permira and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners an equity price of €700m.

BASF chief executive Juergen Hambrecht said: “We are strengthening our portfolio with cyclically robust and profitable businesses.”

The German chemicals bellwether emerged as the sellers’ favourite as early as May, even though rival suitor Lubrizol’s bid was slightly higher than BASF’s bid.