Further to this BASF announced that it has entered into a confidentiality agreement and extended its tender until April 14 in order to review the non-public information.
BASF also said that holders of Engelhard common stock may tender their shares up to the arranged date, unless the offer is extended. With a total of 767,913 shares being tendered at $37 a share, this puts the proposed offer at $4.9bn.
Emphasising that the bid is still considered to be hostile, the US-based Engelhard board of directors re-iterated their unanimous rejection of the unsolicited offer, calling it 'opportunistic'.
"We believe that the response to BASF's unsolicited tender offer demonstrates that Engelhard stockholders recognise that the offer is inadequate and that our exploration of strategic alternatives has the potential to create value greater than BASF's offer. We appreciate the continued support of our stockholders as we seek to maximize value on their behalf," the board of directors said in a statement.
Currently shares in Engelhard are trading at $39.60 on the New York Stock Exchange, well above the BASF bid offer.
The move follows a ten-week impasse, during which time Engelhard has fought against the proposed takeover. To date the takeover bid has been rocky road, with Engelhard executives continuing to warn stockholders to be cautious over the offer and investors suggesting that the bid will have to be raised if it is going to be meet with any success.
However, analysts still believe that BASF might raise its offer significantly, particularly as the chemicals giant is currently struggling against adverse market conditions that are forcing it to raise the prices on many of its leading lines.
Like BASF, Engelhard has also been hit by a number of global market pressures that have forced it to make price increases of between 5 and 7 per cent on a number of its leading fine chemical and material lines.
Engelhard has also announced a re-organisation of its personal care materials business, which will see it split up into three regional offices - Europe/ Middle-EastAfrica/South-America region, which will be head-quartered in Paris, an Asia-Pacific region based in Tokyo and a North America office based in New York.