US Dow hopes to close Styron sale in Q1 2010

12 November 2009 16:41  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Dow Chemical expects to have bids on spin-off company Styron by the end of the year and hopes to close the a deal in the 2010 first quarter, an executive with the US major said on Thursday.

Dow said Styron - comprised of its styrenics and aromatics businesses - was the biggest target on the company’s list of potential divestitures that it could deliver in the near-term.

“We’re in the market right now actively talking to investors, both strategic and financial, and expecting bids before year-end,” said Jim Fitterling, vice president of corporate development for Dow. He spoke at the company’s 2009 investor day.

Dow has previously announced plans to raise $23bn-26bn (€15-17bn) in asset sales to pay down debt related to the company’s acquisition of Rohm and Haas. Chief executive Andrew Liveris said on Thursday that Styron was part of $3.5bn in identified businesses at the “head of the queue”.

“It is well in motion,” Liveris said of Styron’s potential sale. “For the right timing, and the right reasons, we hope we can expect something in 2010 - but no promises.”

Fitterling said company executives were seeking more growth money for capital and other projects, but that the successful divestiture of Styron was a necessary precursor to such moves.

Dow previously said it would value Styron at $1bn-2bn, adding that it includes the company’s polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS)/acrylonitrile (SAN) resins, polystyrene (PS) and styrene monomer operations.

The company also said its stake in the Americas Styrenics joint venture with Chevron Phillips Chemical would be transferred to Styron.

Dow shares surged during and following the company's investor day discussions, trading at $28.48/share at 10:30 hours Houston time (16:30 GMT) - up $1.77, or 6.6%, from Wednesday's close.

($1 = €0.67)

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For more on PC, ABS, styrene or PS visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Ben DuBose
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