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Private equity firm Apollo Management, which last week topped a $25.25 per share bid for Huntsman Corp. by Dutch chemical manufacturer Bassell Holdings, has raised its counteroffer by another $0.75 to $28.00 per share, according to a report in the Monday WSJ. HUN 09 July 2007The new offer values Huntsman at approximately $6.5 billion. The bid-and-raise appears intended to pre-empt a counteroffer from Basell. Basell, a unit of Access Industries, agreed last month to buy Huntsman for $5.6 billion excluding debt. Apollo's object is to combine Huntsman with its Hexion Specialty Chemicals unit. Basell has until Wednesday to match the new offer. Huntsman's shares traded at $28.00 Friday on speculation that a bidding war will develop.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Reuters
Commentary: Apollo Tops Basell with $6.35 Billion Bid for HuntsmanChemical Convergence: Basell Buys Huntsman Corp. For $9.6 Billion Including Debt
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Huntsman Corp. (NYSE:HUN). Competitors: BASF AG (BF), Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE:DOW), EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (NYSE:DD). ETFs: Materials Select Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLB), iShares Dow Jones US Basic Materials Index (NYSEARCA:IYM), Vanguard Materials VIPERs (NYSEARCA:VAW)

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Source: Apollo Raises Huntsman Bid to $28 per Share -- WSJ