Dow Chemical Co. said Thursday it had fired a senior adviser and a company officer over what it said were unauthorized discussions with third parties about the possibility of purchasing the company.
Pedro Reinhard, a senior adviser and member of the board of directors, and Romeo Kreinberg, a company officer, were dismissed with board approval, Andrew Liveris, Dow chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
“I think I speak for all employees when I say we are greatly saddened by the disrespect shown by our former colleagues. But we will move on to shape our future with an even greater resolve to execute our strategy and deliver value to our shareholders,” Liveris said.
The statement said Reinhard and Kreinberg had “engaged in business activity that was highly inappropriate and a clear violation of Dow’s Code of Business Conduct.”
Contacted at his home by telephone on Thursday, Kreinberg said there is no truth to the company’s accusations and that he has sought the advice of legal counsel.
“The behavior of the company is very unusual, and the accusations have absolutely no substance and are highly damaging to my reputation after 30 years of employment,” he said.
A man answering the phone at Reinhard’s home asked a reporter to call back later.
Shares of Dow Chemical Co. jumped Monday after a British newspaper reported a group of Middle Eastern investors and U.S. buyout firms was preparing a bid for the chemical giant.
The Sunday Express, a British tabloid, reported over the weekend that the group — including private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. — had secured financing for a $50 billion bid for the Midland-based company.
Dow Chemical said Monday it is not in discussions about a leveraged buyout.
The company makes and sells chemicals, plastics and farm products to customers in a range of industries. In 2006, Dow Chemical reported it earned $3.72 billion on sales of $49.1 billion.