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Dow to Acquire Wolff Walsrode from Bayer

Published on 2006-12-21. Author : SpecialChem

Midland, MI and Leverkusen, Germany -- The Dow Chemical Company and the Bayer Group announced that they have reached agreement for Dow to acquire Bayer's Wolff Walsrode business group, primarily involved in cellulose products. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2007, subject to regulatory approval. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

For Dow, the agreement underscores the Company's commitment to strengthen its Performance businesses portfolio as part of its goal to dampen earnings cyclicality while driving growth.

"We continue to deliver on our strategy - the acquisition of Wolff Walsrode is another step along our path to maximize long-term shareholder value from investments into advantaged technologies, growing end-use markets and emerging geographies," said Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and chief executive officer.

Bayer announced in March 2006 that it would divest its subsidiaries H.C. Starck and Wolff Walsrode AG. "I'm pleased that following the sale of H.C. Starck, we've also found a buyer that offers promising perspectives for the future of Wolff Walsrode," said Bayer management board chairman Werner Wenning. "As planned, the proceeds will help to finance the acquisition of Schering."

Wolff Walsrode, with 2005 revenues of more than US$400 million, would become an integral part of Dow's Water Soluble Polymers business.

"The acquisition will create a US$1 billion performance business for Dow. We will accelerate growth, ensure long-term supply, and offer a broad portfolio of differentiated solutions by expanding our collective expertise and capabilities," said Romeo Kreinberg, Dow's executive vice president for the Performance Plastics and Chemicals portfolio.

Dow and Wolff Walsrode are complementary, bringing different products, processes, applications and expertise to the combined business. "Dow is a good strategic fit for Wolff Walsrode and our expertise is an excellent basis for further growth in cellulosics in particular," said Dr. Dieter Herzog, managing director of Wolff Walsrode.

The new business would combine Wolff's advanced production technology and proficiency in HEMC (Hydroxyethyl Methyl Cellulose) and CMC (Carboxymethyl Cellulose) chemistry with Dow's leading HPMC (Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose) product brands and industry expertise. Cellulose derivatives produced by the combined businesses are used across a broad range of industry sectors, including construction materials, personal care, pharmaceuticals, food and a number of specialty applications.

About Wolff Walsrode

The Wolff Walsrode group of companies develops and manufactures a variety of products based on cellulose, a natural raw material. Wolff Cellulosics produces and distributes high performance cellulose derivatives including hydroxyethyl methyl cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose and nitro cellulose. Key applications include construction materials, food and personal care. Walsroder Casings specializes in the production and distribution of casings for the food industry, operating from plants in Germany and Poland. Wolff Walsrode employs some 1,500 people and had net sales of EUR 329 million in 2005. Its principal sites are in Germany in the Walsrode Industrial Park and the Bitterfeld Chemical Park.

About Dow Water Soluble Polymers

The global Water Soluble Polymers business is a US$ 650 million business within the Performance Plastics and Chemicals portfolio of The Dow Chemical Company. It offers a wide portfolio of cellulose ethers and provides application and formulation expertise, products, and related technologies. The business employs nearly 700 people at 14 sites worldwide. Its brands include Amerchol, a global manufacturer and marketer of performance ingredients for personal care formulations; CELLOSIZE™ Hydroxyethyl Cellulose (HEC); Dow Dispersion Sciences, an advanced technology for the personal care industry; DOW™ Latex Powders; ETHOCEL™ Ethylcellulose Polymers; METHOCEL™ Cellulose Ethers; and POLYOX™ Water-Soluble Resins.

About The Dow Chemical Company

Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of science and technology to improve living daily. The Company offers a broad range of innovative products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $46 billion and employs 42,000 people worldwide. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

About Bayer

Bayer is a research-based, growth-oriented global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. The company's products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time Bayer wants to create value through innovation, growth and improved earning power.

Source: Dow


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