Dow Chemical Plans Asset Sales and Invests in Nanotechnology

DOW  Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW – $53.57),  a diversified manufacturer that makes everything from agricultural products, plastics and advanced high-performance materials, has started a process to sell its U.S Gulf Coast epoxy and chlorine businesses, which include chlor-alkali, chlor-vinyl and other chlorinated organics. Midland, Michigan-based Dow, which hopes to find a single buyer, has hired Goldman Sachs and Barclays to manage the process according to people familiar with the news. Earnings for the businesses have an EBITDA of about $500 million. While the value of the assets isn’t clear, estimates place it from $3.5 billion to $4 billion. Buyers may include Axiall Corp. and Westlake Chemical or private equity firms in the chemicals space such as Apollo Global. Dow said it will continue to support its other facilities in Freeport, Texas and Plaquemine, Louisiana. In other news, Nanoco Group, a British nanotechnology company, said it expected to start commercial production of quantum dots at its partner Dow Chemical Co’s manufacturing plant in South Korea in the first half of 2015. Dow said that it would begin construction of the plant to make cadmium-free quantum dots using Nanoco’s technology at its plant in Cheonan. Cadmium-free quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals that can be used in display screens such as LED TVs, solar cells and biological imaging. Shares of DOW are higher by about 33% over the past 52-weeks and can continue to be held in a well diversified aggressive portfolio for further above-average total returns. The shares, not without risk, yield 2.8%, at current levels.

DOW

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