MIDLAND, Mich. ( TheStreet) -- Dow Chemical's ( DOW) Styron plastics business could be sold to private-equity firm TPG, a report says. TPG has emerged as the leading candidate to buy the Dow business, which makes rubber, latex and polystyrene, for more than $1. 5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing several people familiar with the matter. A deal could be announced as early as this week. Apollo Management also has been a late-stage suitor, the Journal reports, but is fading from contention. A Dow spokesman didn't return a phone call or email from the newspaper seeking comment. The Dow operation has around 1,500 people at 40 plants worldwide. Dow put Styron up for sale in July and said at the time the unit could go for $1 billion to $2 billion. Dow has said its goal is to complete a sale of the subsidiary, which has annual sales of about $5 billion, in the first quarter, the Journal reports. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.