By Frank Esposito, Plastics News Staff
Midland, Michigan-Officials with Midland, Michigan-based Dow declined comment on speculation that the firm would merge some of its plastics and petrochemical assets with Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. Rumours of a deal drove Dow's per-share stock price up almost 6 percent on 15 March.
The rumored Reliance deal was reported in two Indian newspapers - Economic Times and The Times of India - since late February. Reliance is a major Asian oil refiner and also ranks as one of the world's largest polypropylene makers, in addition to leading the Indian market in production of PE, PET and PVC.
Mumbai, India-based Reliance has prospered as the Indian economy has boomed. In the fiscal year ended 31 March 2006, Reliance had sales of almost $20 000 million and profit of more than $2000 million.
Dow ranks as one of the world's largest producers of PE and polystyrene. The firm also does business in PP and a variety of speciality resins. The firm actively has been shopping its PS and PP units in an attempt to exit lower-value products.
Dow spokesman Andrew Wood declined to comment, saying the firm does not address rumours.
In 2006, Dow posted annual sales of about $49 000 million, with roughly half of that amount coming from plastics-related businesses. The firm employs 43 000 worldwide.
On Wall Street, Dow's per-share stock price began the year around $40 but was $45.1 in early trading 16 March."