US court grants 9 March trial in Dow/Rohm merger case

27 January 2009 23:55  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A Delaware state court on Tuesday granted Rohm and Haas a trial beginning on 9 March in its merger lawsuit against Dow Chemical.

The Delaware Chancery Court agreed to expedite the case, which was filed by Rohm and Haas on Monday.

Rohm and Haas accused Dow of breaching an agreement to close their $18.8bn (€14.3bn) merger.

Rohm and Haas said Dow was required to close the deal by Tuesday after it received US regulatory approval, but Dow it would miss the deadline due to the failure of the global  credit crisis and its failed joint venture with Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC) of Kuwait.

Earlier on Tuesday Dow CEO Andrew Liveris told a television news channel on on Tuesday that his company could still acquire specialty-chemical producer Rohm and Haas, despite Dow’s decision to put the deal on hold.

"In December, we were full-steam to close the deal, but we've seen amazing, once-in-a-generation events," Liveris said in an interview with US business channel CNBC.

"Our operating rates in December were the lowest in our history; credit markets have all but collapsed; we can't get access to capital as easily as we could have back in July,” he said.

Dow shares closed at $13.19, down five cents on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), while shares of Rohm and Haas jumped $1.65 to $58.75.

Liveris also raised the possibility of the chemical maker's first-ever dividend cut.

“Clearly the market is telling us the dividend is too high,” he said.

The company declined further comments regarding a possible dividend cut.

In December, Liveris described Dow’s quarterly dividend as “very safe,” despite a dividend yield over 9%.

($1 = €0.76)

Additional reporting by Brian Ford

For more on Dow Chemical or Rohm and Haas visit ICIS company intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Leela Landress
+1 713 525 2653

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