W.R. Grace rejects $4 billion takeover and more business news – Chattanooga Times Free Press


W.R. Grace rejects $4 billion takeover

W.R. Grace & Co. has turned down a $4 billion takeover offer, saying the bid «significantly» undervalues the specialty chemicals giant.

40 North Management LLC, an investment arm of New York-based building materials company Standard Industries, proposed Monday to acquire all of Grace’s outstanding common stock for $60 a share in cash.

Shares of Grace, which had been trading under $45 last week, spiked Monday to close $55.99 each, but were trading down 2.2% Tuesday at $54.75 each.

The unsolicited offer from Grace’s largest shareholder represented a 36% premium over Grace’s closing price Friday and a 42% premium over the stock’s 30-day volume-weighted average price.

In a letter to Grace’s board of directors, Standard co-CEOs David J. Millstone and David S. Winter said their bid offers both value and certainty given significant underperformance since Grace spun off GCP Applied Technologies in February 2016.

Stock market shifts on vaccine hopes

Stocks downshifted on Tuesday, a day after their powerful worldwide rally, but optimism remained high that the global economy may still be headed for a return to normal.

It was the second straight day that rising hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine pushed investors to reorder which stocks they see winning and losing, and the continuing revamp left the majority of U.S. stocks higher but indexes mixed. Treasury yields and oil, meanwhile, held onto their big gains from a day earlier or added some more amid strengthened confidence in the economy.

The S&P 500 dipped 4.97 points, or 0.1%, to 3,545.53, after erasing most of an early loss. The relatively small movement, though, belied a lot of churning underneath. Nearly two out of three stocks in the index climbed, while losses for some of the largest and most influential technology stocks offset them.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 262.95 points, or 0.9%, to 29,420.92, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 159.93, or 1.4%, to 11,553.86.

Job openings up, but hiring down

American employers advertised slightly more jobs in September but hired fewer people as the U.S. economy struggles to recover from last spring’s coronavirus collapse.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job postings rose to to 6.44 million in September, up from 6.35 million in August. Employers hired 5.87 million workers, down from 5.95 million in September.

Taiwan chip maker to locate second site in Arizona

A Taiwanese maker of processor chips for Apple Inc. and other customers plans to invest $3.5 billion to set up its second U.S. manufacturing site amid American concern about relying too heavily on sources in Asia for high-tech components.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s biggest contract producer of semiconductors, said its board approved the plan to set up the subsidiary in Arizona. It gave no details of what functions it will perform.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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