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Dow NABS Rohm And Haas, Throws Salt Over Shoulder

by Alexander H. Tullo
April 6, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 14

Dow Chemical has closed on its $19 billion purchase of Rohm and Haas. Soon after closing, Dow announced the divestiture of Rohm and Haas's salt business, Morton International, to Germany's K+S for $1.7 billion in cash. The Rohm and Haas deal was originally expected to close in January, but Dow delayed it after failing to pull in $9 billion through the formation of a commodity chemical joint venture with Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Co. Last month, Dow and Rohm and Haas unveiled a new version of the deal in which two major Rohm and Haas shareholders, the Haas Family Trusts and Paulson & Co., agreed to buy $2.5 billion in Dow preferred shares. Now that the deal is done, Dow will create a $14 billion-per-year unit called Dow's Advanced Materials division. Led by former Rohm and Haas president Pierre R. Brondeau, it will house most of the former Rohm and Haas and some Dow operations. With a business largely based on road salt, Morton had been a bright spot in Rohm and Haas's portfolio, generating $270 million in earnings before taxes on sales of $1.2 billion last year. After the transaction, K+S will become the largest salt maker in the world.


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