Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Now Here Come The Dow Chemical Acquisitions

Earlier Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris said he wanted a $3 to $4 billion dollar coating business. Well, he may be about to get there.

Shares of Britain's Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) advanced 1.4% to 633 pence in afternoon London trading, following a report in the Daily Telegraph that Dow Chemical (DOW) was considering making a bid for the U.K. paints maker. ICI, the maker of Dulux paints, has long been tipped as a bid target after slimming down to focus on higher-margin paints and adhesives. ICI has turned down two approaches from Akzo Nobel (AKZOY) including one valued at 7.8 billion pounds, or 650 pence a share, in cash.

According to the report, Dow Chemical has asked Lazard to provide it advice.

In other news, Dow AgroSciences, announced today that it will substantially expand its Brazilian corn seeds business with the acquisition of Agromen Tecnologia Ltda. Brazil is the third largest corn-planting nation in the world. "The acquisition of this premier seeds business reflects Dow's commitment to grow its Agricultural Sciences activities globally. This is another example of Dow's commitment to pursuing strategic investment opportunities that drive value growth in the Company's downstream performance businesses and in rapidly growing geographies," said Jerome Peribere, Dow AgroSciences president and chief executive officer.

He continued, "The expanded seed platform that we are building with both this acquisition and the recent acquisition of assets of the Europe-based corn germplasm provider Maize Technologies International will enable us to leverage superior Dow and Dow AgroSciences input and output traits in key crops around the world, for both agricultural and industrial uses,".

Dow is on fire expanding it's business outside of the old commodity businesses that made earnings so erratic. In getting into the seed business is a major way it now has become very competative with Monsanto (MON) and DuPont (DD) in the corn seed business. If you have watched the news lately the corn business is surging and there does not seem to be any end for demand for the product in the immediate future.

Anything Dow does to diversify earning is wonderful for investors and both these deals would do just that.

Can't wait to see what they do tomorrow!!

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