This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Deal: W.R. Grace Acquires Dow Chemical Polymer Unit

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Dow Chemical (DOW - Get Report)said Friday it has a deal in place to sell its global polypropylene licensing and catalyst unit to W.R. Grace (GRA - Get Report)in a deal valued at $500 million.

The unit to be sold, known as Unipol, helps third parties produce and customize the popular plastic polymer used in numerous applications, including carpets and containers. Grace, of Columbia, Md., is already a supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and said the purchase would "significantly" enhance its product portfolio.

"The agreement reflects Grace's continuing commitment to invest in our catalyst businesses, particularly in technology," Grace chairman and CEO Fred Festa said in a statement. "This acquisition strengthens our ability to provide polypropylene catalyst solutions to our customers around the world."

Assets in the deal include Dow's polypropylene catalysts manufacturing facility at Norco, La., licenses, intellectual property, inventory and customer contracts. About 90 workers are expected to transition to W.R. Grace as part of the deal, with the buyer also pledging to honor the unit's customer, licensing and supplier contracts.

Must Read: The Deal: Lloyds Offloads Remaining Australian Assets

The sale is part of a broader campaign by Midland, Mich.-based Dow to prune its portfolio and streamline its focus. The company in March announced plans to shed about $1.5 billion worth of assets by late 2014, and listed this polypropylene licensing and catalyst unit along with a plastics additives business as sale candidates.

Dow chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris called the sale "another clear demonstration of Dow's rigorous focus on selectively shifting our portfolio away from assets that are no longer a strategic fit and optimizing their value."

Liveris has presided over an ambitious campaign to use M&A to move Dow away from low-margin commodity businesses and towards higher-margin specialty products, including the company's $18.8 billion purchase of Rohm and Haas Co. in 2008 and subsequent divestiture of Morton Salt, Styron Corp. and other assets.

"Our accelerated strategy is focused on narrowing our market participation and preferentially funding our select growth businesses with strong competitive positions in attractive markets such as electronics, water, packaging and agricultural sciences," Liveris said.

Blackstone Advisory Partners LP advised Grace, as did Steven Epstein of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

--Lou Whiteman in Atlanta.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
DOW $52.61 0.00%
GRA $76.68 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs