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Dow Chemicals expects to raise more than $2 billion from sale of 3 units

Dow Chemical Co. says it expects to raise more than $2 billion from three businesses that it has put on the block as part of a plan to raise up to $6 billion from asset sales.

Dow Chemical Co. says it expects to raise more than $2 billion from three businesses that it has put on the block as part of a plan to raise up to $6 billion from asset sales.

Dow expects to sign deals by the end of the year for its Angus Chemical Co. and AgroFresh Inc. subsidiaries, as well as its sodium borohydride business.

The company did not disclose the identities of the potential buyers, but says it expects the deals to close in early 2015.

Dow is facing investor pressure to sell off less-lucrative businesses and return more money to shareholders.

Activist investor Daniel Loeb has also urged the company to separate its commoditized raw materials businesses from its specialty chemicals operations.

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Dow has repeatedly rebuffed the demand, saying keeping the businesses together helps keep costs down.

Rival DuPont is also being pressured to break up its conglomerate structure by activist investor Nelson Peltz.

Apart from the chemical units, Dow has earmarked its epoxy business and some chlorine and derivatives assets for sale. It says it expected to sign agreements for the businesses in early 2015.

The businesses are collectively expected to generate more than $500 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization, Dow says.

Dow, which says it wants to raise between $4.5 billion and $6 billion from asset sales, has raised $1.3 billion so far.

The company says it raised $450 million from the previously announced sale of a substantial portion of its North America rail car fleet.

Angus Chemical Co. makes additives used in a variety of products, including paints and cosmetics.

AgroFresh makes products used to enhance the freshness, quality and value of fresh produce.

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Reuters reported in August that Dow had put the two specialty chemical units on the block.

The sodium borohydride business, part of the Dow Performance Additives product line, makes chemicals for pharmaceutical and agricultural applications.

Dow also says it has signed an agreement with ExxonMobil Chemical Co. to make Univation Technologies, a licensor of polyethylene technology, a wholly owned subsidiary.

Dow and ExxonMobil Chemical each own half of Univation.

Dow has as many as 86 joint ventures and is looking to simplify the structure of these partnerships.

Dow Chemical shares were marginally down at $50.23 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Up to Wednesday's close of $50.45, Dow Chemical shares rose 29 percent in the past 12 months, higher than the 19 percent rise in Dupont's stock over the same period.

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