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Dow AgroSciences parent might become takeover target

April 13, 2007

Dow Chemical Co. CEO Andrew Liveris said this week that he doesn't want to sell the Midland, Mich., company. But that doesn't mean private equity firms eyeing Dow won't return with hostile offers, according to a Bloomberg report.

The parent of Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences fired Executive Vice President Romeo Kreinberg and J. Pedro Reinhard, a senior adviser and board member of the company, yesterday because they "were involved in unauthorized discussions with third parties about the potential acquisition of the company."

A British newspaper reported over the weekend that an investor group backed by Middle Eastern financial interests had lined up financing to make a $50 billion bid for Midland, Mich.-based Dow.

Dow says it hasn't been in acquisition talks.

However, as early as January, the Financial Times of London also reported that private equity firms wanted to buy parts of Dow.

Analysts told Bloomberg that Middle-Eastern energy companies might want the chemical maker as a hedge against a surge in energy conservation.

Dow also has lots of cash that would be attractive to buyers.

Several analysts have said the company is too large and too integrated.

Dow AgroSciences, which occupies a sprawling complex on the northwest side, is the company's agriculture division.

It is scrambling to transition from traditional farm and household pesticides to genetically engineered seeds that resist insects and

other pests.

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