Dow completes $660m Optimal divestiture to Petronas

30 September 2009 14:49  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Dow Chemical has completed the $660m (€455m) divestiture of its stake in the Optimal petrochemicals joint venture in Malaysia to that country's state energy major Petronas, it said on Wednesday.

Under a commercial supply agreement with Petronas, Dow would continue serving its current customer base in much of Asia Pacific with basic and performance chemical products made by Optimal, Dow said.

Dow, which held the stake in Optimal through its Union Carbide subsidiary, announced the divestment in July.

The joint venture included Optimal Glycols and Optimal Chemicals, both 50:50 joint ventures between Dow and Petronas; and Optimal Olefins, where Dow has a 23.75% interest.

Optimal was set up in 1998 as a joint venture between Petronas and Union Carbide, shortly before the merger between Union Carbide and Dow.

Dow would use the proceeds from the Optimal sale to further cut its debt, it said.

Earlier this week, the US-based chemicals major said it was finalising the sale of the Morton salt business to Germany’s K+S for $1.68bn, enabling it to pay off the balance of a bridge loan Dow used to partially fund its acquisition of Rohm and Haas.

Dow, which acquired Rohm and Haas in April, has been seeking asset sales to help pay down the massive debt it took on to complete that deal.

($1 = €0.69)

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