Dow-DuPont Merger Wins Conditional Approval for Antitrust
DuPont Co and Dow Chemical Co won approval from regulators in the European Union for a merger of $77 billion, overcoming the regulators’ concerns of hefty concessions that included the sale of large chunks of the global pesticide business of DuPont.
The takeover, which was first announced one year ago, is the first to win approval from the EU out of three mega-deals that would help to reshape the industry of global agrochemicals.
The other transactions including Bayer AG taking over Monstanto Co and Syngenta AG being bought out by China National Chemical Corp would reduce six current players in the industry to three giants in the U.S, Germany and China.
The EU announced that the deal would have given the companies the right to stop new chemical products across areas where they currently competed against one another.
DuPont agreed it would divest significant parts of its pesticide business, including its research & development activities. That included herbicides for cereals, sunflower, oilseed rape, pasture and rice along with insecticides used on vegetables and fruits.
The takeover includes facilities where products are manufactured as well as relevant personnel. DuPont’s worldwide R&D group will be sold as well. Dow will sell a pair of plants in the U.S. and Spain.
In a prepared joint statement, Dow and DuPont said that the regulatory milestone was a big step toward the closing of their merger transaction, with the goal of spinning the deal into three independent companies that are publicly traded.
The EU did not announce who was buying company assets. It did show the regular exchanges on this deal with the Department of Justice in the U.S. and competition authorities located in Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Canada and South Africa.
BASF SE took part in a hearing behind closed-doors with regulators related to the deal earlier in 2017, which might show an interest in it acquiring assets that are sold by DuPont and Dow.
FMC Corp as well as American Vanguard have said they could pick up some businesses that the others sell in the current wave of mergers.
Syngenta and ChemChina have a deadline for April 12 for a decision from the EU and the two companies have made concessions to attempt to win over the regulators.
At the same time, Bayer is planning to file for approval of the EU for its purchase of $66 billion during the second quarter after more information was sought by regulators.