German M&A market makes solid start to the new year. Pharma and chemicals specialist Merck announces cash offer to take over Versum Materials, a US semiconductor company, in a deal valued at approx. USD 5.9 billion. Merck’s aim is to forestall the agreed merger between Versum and Entegris. Merck had only recently entered into a multi-billion cooperation agreement with GlaxoSmithKline in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Symrise wants to take over nutritional products supplier ADF/IDF for around $900 million. Family company Kathrein divests its antenna business to Ericsson. Fashion label Tom Tailor sees major shareholder Fosun increase its shareholding by way of a capital increase, followed by a public tender offer. Continue Reading.