BASF is pressing ahead with its spurned $4.9 billion bid to acquire Engelhard by nominating two candidates for election to Engelhard's board and appointing a corporate champion to lead the takeover attempt. The German firm nominated Julian A. Brodsky, vice chairman of communications firm Comcast, and John C. Linehan, former chief financial officer of Kerr-McGee, to stand for election at the Engelhard annual meeting on May 4. To underscore the seriousness of its effort, BASF said that Hans-Ulrich Engel has relinquished duties as chief financial officer of its North American arm, BASF Corp., to focus on managing its attempt to acquire the U.S. catalysts and pigments maker. Separately, the acquisitive BASF submitted, as expected, a binding offer for the building chemicals business of Degussa. BASF won't say how much the bid is for, but a spokesman confirms that one has been made. Degussa put the business up for sale in December.