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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

$50Bln Bid For Dow Chemical

LONDON -- A consortium of Middle Eastern investors and U.S. buyout firms is preparing a $50 billion approach for Dow Chemical in what could be the world's biggest leveraged buyout, a British newspaper reported.

Quoting sources close to the deal, The Sunday Express, said a financing package had been put in place for a break-up bid of $52 to $58 per share and an approach valuing the company at some $50 billion could come by the end of this week.

At least half of the capital is being provided by investors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman, with the rest contributed by U.S. buyout firms including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, it said.

Representatives of Dow Chemical and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts were not immediately available for comment.

The story follows reports in recent months that strategic changes were afoot at Dow, which has been moving toward a focus on specialty chemicals.

In March, The Wall Street Journal said Dow was in talks with India's Reliance Industries about a potential joint venture, citing people familiar with the matter.

Analysts were not surprised by the report and expected Dow to split off its basic chemicals and plastics business as part of what it has called its "asset light" strategy, which would give it a more nimble and higher-margin profile focusing on specialty chemicals.