Darmstadt, Germany, February 28 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, today announced that it agreed to further extend the timetable of its recommended cash offer for AZ Electronic Materials (AZ).

Accordingly, the offer for AZ shareholders has been extended until 1.00 p.m. (GMT) on March 14, 2014.

While discussions with the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) are proceeding constructively and are advancing, MOFCOM’s review is still continuing in the ordinary course. Consequently, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and AZ have agreed, with the consent of the UK Takeover Panel and in accordance with the UK Code on Takeovers and Mergers, to further extend the offer timetable. According to the agreement, the latest date by which the offer can become or be declared unconditional as to acceptances will be extended to the date 14 days after the earliest of either the granting of Chinese antitrust clearance, or March 14, 2014. Apart from China the necessary antitrust clearances in Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the United States have been granted.

As at 1:00 p.m. (GMT) on Feb. 28, 2014, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, had received valid acceptances of the offer in respect of 243,918,671 AZ Shares, representing approximately 64,03 percent of the existing issued share capital of AZ.

On December 5, 2013 Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced that it had reached an agreement with the AZ board regarding a recommended cash offer for AZ, the strategic rationale of which is to further expand Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s materials and specialty chemicals business by adding a globally leading premium supplier of high-tech materials for the electronics industry.

Please see offer website for full RNS statement.