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Henkel CEO dampens prospects for acquisitions: paper

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[December 30, 2013]  BERLIN (Reuters)  German consumer goods group Henkel <HNKG_p.DE> dampened expectations it was looking at acquisitions soon, saying the market currently offers few takeover opportunities, Handelsblatt reported, citing Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted.

Rorsted's comments contrast with remarks made by Henkel's supervisory board chairwoman, Simone Bagel-Trah, who was quoted three weeks ago as saying that the time had come to focus on takeovers again.

"With the low interest rates, hardly anyone wants to swap businesses for money," the Handelsblatt business daily quoted Rorsted as saying in an interview to be published on Monday.

"Opportunities will yet emerge over the coming three years," the CEO said.

Last month, Rorsted himself said the group was looking at takeover opportunities if they were a good strategic fit and that it had a 4 billion euro ($5.5 billion) war chest for purchases.

In its last major acquisition, Henkel bought National Starch in 2008 for 3.7 billion euros to expand its adhesives division.

($1 = 0.7258 euros)

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; editing by Matthew Tostevin)

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