Shareholders of specialty chemicals maker Rohm & Haas Co. have approved a US$15.3 bln buyout by Dow Chemical Co. Including debt, the final price could sum up to about US$18.8 bln. The deal is pending regulatory approval, and expected to close early in 2009. The shareholders will get US$78 in cash for each share they own. The Haas family alone holds almost 33% stake worth nearly US$5.1 bln based on the purchase price.
Rohm & Haas will become a subsidiary of Dow, and its shares will not be traded separately. Dow will continue with the name Rohm & Haas, and will use existing facilities to form an advanced materials company with annual sales of about US$13 bln. Two Rohm & Haas directors will join Dow's board, bringing its total size to 14 members.
The acquisition is another step forward by Dow into the higher-margin specialty chemicals market, which would provide a buffer against ups and downs in basic chemical sales.