Dow Chemical Sells 50% of Plastics Biz to Kuwait for $9.5B

Deal gets firm access to cheap raw materials
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2007 1:48 PM CST
Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical's chairman and chief executive officer, speaks at News Corp.'s Global Energy Initiative on Wednesday, May 9, 2007 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Kuwait’s national oil company agreed to buy a 50% stake in Dow Chemical’s plastics divisions for $9.5 billion, marking the biggest overseas investment by a Kuwaiti firm, Bloomberg reports. CEO Andrew Liveris said Dow would benefit from cheap access to raw materials and liquid assets received from the deal, which Liveris said Dow planned to invest in specialty-chemical plastics assets.

Specialty plastics are engineered for use as car parts or home insulation, and are more reliably profitable than commodity plastics, used for shopping bags and milk jugs—although, as the world largest producer of polyethylene, commodity plastics are Dow’s bread and butter. Kuwait Petroleum CEO applauded the jobs and training the venture will stimulate: “Today is a tremendous day for Kuwait,” he said.