Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved an application by The Dow Chemical Company to sell a chemical production facility and associated property in Torrance, California, to Hager Pacific Acquisitions LLC. The sale is required by a 2009 settlement order resolving the FTC's concerns that Dow's acquisition of Rohm & Haas Company would lessen competition in markets for acrylic acid, latex polymers, and other products used to make coated paper, paints and coatings, and adhesives.
The 2009 settlement order includes a requirement that Dow sell all of its interest in the Torrance site. Arkema Inc., the FTC-approved buyer of Dow's acrylic acid business and the latex polymers business, chose to lease rather than buy the Torrance plant and some of the associated property. In 2010, the FTC approved the lease to Arkema and gave Dow one more year to find a buyer for the entire Torrance site, including the plant and land leased by Arkema.
In August 2011, Dow submitted an application to sell the Torrance site to Hager Pacific Acquisitions, a subsidiary of Hager Pacific Properties LLC. The FTC has now approved that application. Arkema will continue to operate the Torrance facility, but will lease it from an affiliate of Hager Pacific Acquisitions. Dow will not own any interest in the Torrance site.
Denial of Dow's Previous Application. In February 2011, before identifying Hager Pacific Acquisitions as a purchaser of the Torrance site, Dow applied to the FTC to reopen and modify the settlement order in this case to terminate its obligation to sell the Torrance site. The FTC denied Dow's application in June 2011. The FTC found that Dow had not demonstrated that there were no acceptable buyers for the property, or that allowing Dow to retain the property was required by the public interest.
Now that the FTC has approved the property's sale to Hager Pacific Acquisitions, it has posted its letter denying Dow's February 2011 petition, including information that is no longer confidential.
The vote approving Dow's divestiture application was 4-0. The vote denying Dow's application to modify the order, which was taken before Commissioner William E. Kovacic left the FTC, was 5-0. (FTC File No. 081-0214, Docket No. C-4243; the staff contact is Roberta S. Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press release dated February 28, 2011).
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