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Dow CEO Says Rohm & Haas Deal Still Alive

Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris still hopes his company can acquire specialty-chemical producer Rohm & Haas, despite some serious obstacles that have forced Dow to put the deal on hold.

"In December, we were full-steam to close the deal, but we've seen amazing, once-in-a-generation events," Liveris told CNBC. "Our operating rates in December were the lowest in our history; credit markets have all but collapsed; we can't get access to capital as easily as we could have back in July (when Dow announced the $15.3 billion deal to acquire Rohm & Haas)."

He also blamed the collapse of a joint-venture agreement with Kuwait that would have helped fund the acquisition.

Rohm and Haas sued Dow on Monday, arguing that the chemical company has no legal basis to walk away from the deal and asking a Delaware court to order it to complete the transaction.

"I think it's something they had to do, although it's regrettable," Liveris said of the lawsuit. "We have been in dialogue with Rohm & Haas, we want to continue to be in dialogue with Rohm & Haas."

He asserted that Dow and Rohm & Haas are currently in fine shape on a stand-alone basis, but a merger would create "an economic disaster for the combination."

Reuters contributed to this article.