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A news piece in Chemical and Engineering News today is summarized by the title – several big Chemical Cos (DuPont, Dow, W R Grace) are reaching for growth in new areas and better in acquisitions of speciality units.

In the article ,”it’s not about simple expansion anymore, as chemical companies focus on moving deeper into specialties”.

A question is, why has it taken several well-known players to take this step: it’s not a new strategy?  One explanation is that they waited to see how others such as ICI or Hoescht got on, and then… the crisis of 2008 hit.  In the former case it was widely seen as an abject failure when they “Bought High and Sold Low” (buying the Unilever Spec Chems business in exchange with old commodities).

Perhaps this one was more a case of poor strategic execution but then timing can be everything…

Rob Munro

So, what do you think ?

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