Dow Chemical has posted another good quarter of results and that goodness again included the plastics segment. You may recall that just over 3 months ago, Daniel Loeb, an activist investor, took up a nice share in the company and got the attention of Dow’s CEO, Andrew Liveris by writing an open letter stating that the plastics segment was a huge drag on Dow’s stock and should be sold off.
meet with Liveris several times. After this quarter’s repeat performance, Liveris stated during the conference call with Wall Street analysts that Loeb had helped the company realize that increased “transparency” was a good thing, but as for selling off the plastics segment, that is still a no-go.
I take this as Dow being intelligently diplomatic, allowing Loeb to save some face in the public eye. A smart choice, even though it would have been tempting to follow this up with some strong taunting. As David Frost said, "Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way." I suspect that Dow is now hoping that Loeb will quietly slink away into the night, taking whatever profit with him that he “earned”. I can’t imagine that Liveris will be granting him another audience anytime soon.