03 February 2009 22:11 [Source: ICIS news]
Liveris has previously said that Dow would not cut its dividend under his watch.
However, Liveris made that statement before demand collapsed and credit markets froze in December, he said. That same month, Dow announced a massive amount of layoffs and plant closings.
Dow is now considering another round of plant closings and layoffs, he said.
"December changed everything," Liveris said during an earnings conference call. "It would be foolhardy for us to go back to those pre-December words."
Dow reported a $1.55bn (€1.2bn) net loss for the fourth quarter.
As such, Liveris backed down on his earlier statement.
"We're very respectful of the need to look after the interests of all shareholders," he said.. "And whether that means a dividend cut occurs or not, it would have to be a collection of things that we would look at."
"Right now, I'd be the first to tell you that that is a different statement that I made prior to December, and I acknowledge the reality of the moment," Liveris said.
Dow would also consider raising or selling equity to maintain its rating - although that would not be the company's first choice, Liveris said.
"We are committed, above all else, to maintaining an investment-grade rating and are prepared to take all necessary steps to do so," Liveris said.
($1 = €0.78)For more on Dow visit ICIS company intelligence
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections