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Dow Chemical to buy Rohm and Haas

By Tim Wright

Published July 10, 2008
Rohm and Haas Co. has agreed to be bought by Dow Chemical Co. in an agreement under which Dow offered to pay $78 per share in cash—or roughly $15 billion total. Additional financing for the acquisition includes an equity investment by Warren Buffet’s company Berkshire Hathaway and the Kuwait Investment Authority in the form of convertible preferred securities for $3 billion and $1 billion respectively.

The latter’s involvement furthers Dow’s dealings with Kuwait and the Middle Eastern region in general. Last December Dow formed a joint venture with state-owned oil company Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC). As a result of this deal and the Rohm and Haas acquisition, performance products and advanced materials will represent 69% of Dow’s total sales compared to 51% prior to these transactions.

“The acquisition of Rohm and Haas is a defining step in our transformational strategy to shape the ‘Dow of Tomorrow’—a high value, diversified chemicals and materials company, creating the largest specialty chemicals company in the U.S. with a leading global position in performance products and advanced materials.”

Rohm and Haas bolsters Dow’s position in a number of industries, most notably coatings and electronic materials segments. In addition to these two leading platforms, Rohm and Haas also has strong presence in a number of areas such as water solutions, adhesives, personal care, biocides, and building and packaging materials.

Dow will establish an advanced materials business unit at Rohm and Haas’ current headquarters in Philadelphia, PA and intends to contribute complementary Dow businesses to Rohm and Haas’ existing portfolio, such as coatings, biocides and personal care.  The total revenue of this new unit will approach $13 billion. Dow will retain Rohm and Haas’ corporate name for this advanced materials business unit in order to capitalize on the company’s well-established brand value.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, remains subject to approval by Rohm and Haas shareholders, customary conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals. The companies are targeting completion of the transaction by early 2009.

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