DuPont, Dow divesting assets for merger approval

Companies still aim for closing transaction by year-end.

DuPont Co. is planning to sell a business that makes herbicides to help gain antitrust approval for a $59 billion merger with U.S. competitor Dow Chemical Co., Bloomberg has reported. According to sources, Evercore Partners Inc. has been hired as an adviser for the sale, which is expected to generate several-hundred million dollars.

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that DuPont is also considering divesting the insecticide and seed units that may present an obstacle to the Dow/DuPont merger deal.

Rather than combine the smaller units into one package, DuPont is looking at individual sales, sources told Bloomberg.

A spokesman for DuPont and an Evercore representative both declined to comment.

Dow is also trying to sell a unit that makes co-polymers used in food packaging, according to people familiar with the matter.

Several competitors, ranging from BASF SE to FMC Corp. and private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners LP, are monitoring opportunities to pick up assets as the biggest-ever wave of consolidation in the agro-chemical and seeds sectors spurs antitrust reviews and forced sales, Bloomberg noted.

Dow and DuPont hope to close the merger deal by the end of the year.

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