Issue Date: February 5, 2007
Dow Seeks Partners
In a bid to reduce earnings cyclicality, Dow Chemical is setting in motion plans to find joint-venture partners for its polypropylene and polystyrene operations. Formation of the ventures would further what CEO Andrew N. Liveris refers to as Dow's "asset light" strategy, intended to reduce capital investments, retain Dow's traditional site and product integration advantages, and maintain operational control. One potential polystyrene partner is Nova Chemicals. The company's CEO, Jeffrey M. Lipton, said last week that the firm has rejected buyout offers for its styrene and polystyrene businesses and is now looking to form joint ventures. Liveris also says Dow is forming two new "market facing" business platforms. A coatings platform will gather technologies from across Dow, such as recently launched amine- and polyurethane-based materials, and direct them at the $40 billion-per-year global coatings industry. A footwear platform will enable Dow to apply adhesives, urethanes, and specialty polymer technologies to the $20 billion footwear industry.
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