Dow Chemical Company agreed to buy Rohm & Haas Co. for about $18.8 billion, reducing its dependence on petroleum-based commodity chemicals and increasing sales of more profitable products. Financing for the deal includes equity investments of $3 billion by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and $1 billion by the Kuwait Investment Authority, the company said.
Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris has said he has been seeking a large acquisition that would reduce Dow’s dependence on swings in the petroleum market and transform it into a more specialized, faster-growing company. Rohm & Haas, based in Philadelphia, is the world’s largest producer of acrylic paint ingredients and also makes chemicals used in adhesives, packaging materials and personal care products.
The purchase is the biggest in the company’s 101-year history, exceeding the $12 billion Dow paid to acquire Union Carbide Corp. in 1999.