Dow Chemical ‘Optimistic’ on $2.5 Billion Claim Against Kuwait

Dow Chemical Co. is “optimistic” that an arbitration panel will rule favorably on its claim that Kuwait owes at least $2.5 billion for breaching a 2008 agreement to buy a stake in the company’s plastics business.

The arbitration tribunal of the International Chamber of Commerce in London is expected to rule on claims against Kuwait’s Petrochemicals Industries Co. “very soon,” Rebecca Bentley, a spokeswoman for Midland, Michigan-based Dow, said in an e-mail today.

“Nothing has diminished our position that PIC was required to close, and that PIC owes substantial damages to Dow,” Bentley said. “We remain very optimistic about the reward.”

Maha Mulla Hussein, PIC chairwoman and managing director, declined to comment by telephone today.

Dow is seeking $2.5 billion plus damages, more than the company’s net income last year, because PIC, under pressure from lawmakers, canceled a contract to form a 50-50 venture with Dow’s plastics assets. Failure of the so-called K-Dow venture deprived Dow of $9 billion during the financial crisis and nearly derailed its 2009 purchase of Rohm & Haas Co.

Dow Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said in April that the parties had submitted their evidence and that he expected a ruling by year end.

“It’s very clear that we were wronged and the contracts are very clear,” Liveris said in an April 28 conference call.

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