Dow Chemical CEO Denies Buyout Speculation to CNBC

The chief executive of Dow Chemical on Tuesday shot down speculation that the company is in talks with private equity for a leveraged buyout.

“We are not in discussions with anyone in LBO,” Andrew Liveris told CNBC’s David Faber. “If we were, we would be the first to tell people for the right reasons, and if those reasons ever came forward, of course it would be for long-term shareholder value.”

Liveris’ move to put rumors “to bed once and for all,” follows a report by a British tabloid that a consortium of investors and U.S. buyout firms were preparing a $50 billion bid for Dow. Dow's shares surged more than 6% on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

With the company working on over 60 deal flows, “maybe there’s a leak or two,” Liveris said. He added that he wants to reassure shareholders that the company is “in control of its own destiny” and has “entertained every possibility” to maximize shareholder value. And that does not include breaking up the company, which would result in “huge value destruction,” he said.

Liveris instead pointed to joint ventures and partnerships for competitive advantage, including a new one with Chevron Phillips Chemical, which itself is a joint venture between oil giants Chevron and Conoco Phillips.

Liveris said Dow is open to acquiring businesses that complement its strategy, but would not comment on the possibility of buying General Electric's plastics business. GE is parent of CNBC.