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JPMorgan to advise on unit bid

CHINA National Chemical Corp, the nation's leading chemical producer, has retained JPMorgan to advise it on a bid for Dow Chemical's agrosciences unit, sources said yesterday.

Dow AgroSciences - which sells crop protection chemicals such as herbicides and insecticides - generated sales of US$4.5 billion last year, according to the company's Website. The unit could be sold for as much as US$7 billion, according to analysts.

Dow Chemical, the largest United States chemicals maker, is selling assets to help pay a US$9.2-billion bridge loan taken out to buy chemical company Rohm & Haas Corp in April.

Like other chemicals makers, Dow has been suffering from the economic recession and has already sold Rohm's Morton Salt unit for US$1.7 billion and is evaluating options for other businesses in its portfolio.

It is unclear if the bidding process for the agrosciences unit is at a preliminary or advanced stage.


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