Chemicals on Fire After Rohm & Haas Merger With Dow (ROH, DOW, BRK.A, APD, CE, EMN, ASD, HUN)

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Rohm & Haas (NYSE: ROH) has agreed to be acquired by Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) in an $18.8 Billion dollar merger ($15.3 Billion in equity value).  The terms to shareholders value the company at more than $78.00 per share in a cash buyout. 

Interestingly enough, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) and the Kuwaiti Investment Authority are investing in the deal.  Rohm & Haas is more diversified than mere chemicals but a 74% premium deal has interest likely falling into other key chemical players and ones to watch would be Air Products (NYSE: APD), Celanese (NYSE: CE), Eastman Chemicals (NYSE: EMN), Ashland (NYSE: ASH) and in particular Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN).

The deal is subject to shareholder approval, but this is likely a done deal so long as no anti-trust issues crop up.  The 52-week trading range is $44.13 to $62.68 and shares have never traded that high, so it seems no  one will fight this.   

There are more than 30% of the shares owned or controlled by Haas family trusts and they have indicated their support of the merger.  Rounding up the other votes should be easy at this point.

Jon C. Ogg
July 10, 2008