Rival Bidder Says Huntsman Finds Takeover Offer Superior

Rival Bidder Says Huntsman Finds Takeover Offer Superior

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Huntsman Corp.'s board considers a rival $6 billion cash offer from an affiliate of a private-equity firm superior to the bid that the chemical maker accepted last week from a Dutch company.

The private equity firm Apollo Management's Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, said Friday that it had been informed of Huntsman's assessment. Hexion offered $27.25 per share for Huntsman earlier this week.

Huntsman had previously accepted a $25.25 a share offer -- about $5.6 billion -- from Basell, a Dutch holding of U.S. industrialist Len Blavatnik's Access Industries.

Huntsman has notified Basell it will continue to recommend the current deal to its shareholders for three business days but may change its recommendation if Basell does not raise its offer, Hexion said.

Any sale is subject to regulatory approval and other conditions.

Huntsman, based in Salt Lake City, has administrative headquarters in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston. Fortune magazine lists Huntsman's annual revenues at $13.1 billion. Hexion is listed as the 16th-largest chemical company with revenues of $5.2 billion.

Shares of Huntsman rose 7 cents to $27.53 in morning trading -- above the price being offered by either bidder.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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