Huntsman files counterclaims against Hexion

Wed Jul 2, 2008 4:24am EDT

(Reuters) - Chemicals maker Huntsman Corp (HUN.N) said it had filed its answer and counterclaims to a suit in Delaware concerning its souring merger deal with Hexion Specialty Chemicals.

Private equity firm Apollo Management and its affiliate Hexion sued Huntsman in June to limit their liability in case a planned merger deal between Huntsman and Hexion fell apart.

Huntsman then sued Apollo and its partners, alleging they had dishonestly induced Huntsman to terminate a previous merger agreement with Dutch company Basell AF in order to forge a deal with Hexion.

Hexion has said it considers Huntsman's suit to be without merit.

Huntsman said the counterclaims it had filed included breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, defamation, injurious falsehood, and commercial disparagement.

The company also said its board had provisionally authorized the right to extend the merger agreement with Hexion by an additional 90 days to October 2, 2008.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore, editing by Will Waterman)

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