- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2007

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Days after announcing that it’s not in talks involving a leveraged buyout, Dow Chemical Co. fired a senior adviser and a company officer, accusing them of trying to negotiate a deal behind the company’s back.

Senior adviser Pedro Reinhard, who retired as the chemical giant’s chief financial officer in October 2005, and Romeo Kreinberg, a divisional executive vice president, were dismissed with the approval of the board of directors, Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical chairman and chief executive officer, said yesterday.

Mr. Reinhard remains a member of the board because only shareholders, not management, can remove directors.

“The values of integrity and respect for people are at the very core of our company,” Mr. Liveris said.

“I think I speak for all employees when I say we are greatly saddened by the disrespect shown by our former colleagues. But we will move on to shape our future with an even greater resolve to execute our strategy and deliver value to our shareholders.”

The statement said Mr. Reinhard and Mr. Kreinberg had “engaged in business activity that was highly inappropriate and a clear violation of Dow’s code of business conduct.”

Chris Huntley, a spokesman for Dow Chemical, said the two men were “involved in discussions with other parties about acquiring” the Midland, Mich., company. “This wasn’t them talking on behalf of the company. We had no knowledge that these discussions were going on.”

On Monday, Dow Chemical issued a statement saying it “has had no discussion about a leveraged buyout” and that the board “fully supports Dow’s management team.”

“These two individuals, we subsequently found out, were having conversations about such activity,” Mr. Huntley said.

Contacted at his home yesterday, Mr. Kreinberg said there is no truth to the accusations made against him and that he has sought the advice of legal counsel.

“The behavior of the company is very unusual, and the accusations have absolutely no substance and are highly damaging to my reputation after 30 years of employment,” he said.

A man answering the phone at Mr. Reinhard’s home asked a reporter to call back later. There was no answer to subsequent calls made to the home.

Shares of Dow Chemical jumped Monday after a British tabloid reported that a group of Middle Eastern investors and U.S. buyout firms was preparing a bid for the company, which makes and sells chemicals, plastics and farm products to customers in a range of industries. Dow Chemical reported that it earned $3.72 billion last year on sales of $49.1 billion.

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