Intellectual Thoughts by Sanjay Panda: Dow acquires Rohm and Haas

Dow acquires Rohm and Haas

Dow has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Rohm and Haas, one of the largest manufacturers of specialty chemicals, for $78 per share in cash. This acquisition would transform Dow into the world's leading specialty chemicals and advanced materials company. The companies are targeting completion of the transaction by early 2009.

The acquisition would be financed through an equity investment by Berkshire Hathaway and the Kuwait Investment Authority in the form of convertible preferred securities for $3 billion and $1 billion, respectively. Citi, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have committed debt financing.

Rohm and Haas is expected to help Dow make a mark in a number of industry segments like electronic materials and coatings that are poised for significant growth in the long term. Besides, Rohm and Haas has a strong presence in a number of other attractive areas such as water solutions, adhesives, personal care, biocides and building and packaging materials. The acquisition will unlock value from Dow's existing portfolio by delivering a range of innovative new products and technologies to these high growth downstream sectors, while at the same time expanding the product offering for sale through Dow's own existing market channels. Dow also anticipates that the transaction will produce significant revenue synergies, through the application of each company's innovative technologies and as a consequence of the combined businesses' broader product portfolio in key industry segments with strong global growth rates.

Dow will establish an advanced materials business unit at Rohm and Haas' current headquarters in Philadelphia and intends to contribute complementary Dow businesses to Rohm and Haas' existing portfolio, such as coatings, biocides and personal care. The total revenue of this new unit will approach $13 billion. Dow will retain Rohm and Haas' corporate name for this advanced materials business unit in order to capitalise on the company's brand value.

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