DowDuPont Inc. is an American company formed after the merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont on August 31, 2017. It is the world's largest chemical company in terms of sales. Within 18 months the company will be split into three publicly-traded companies: agriculture, materials science, and specialty products. The organization's board will be headed by Andrew Liveris with Edward Breen becoming CEO of the new company. The merger has been reported to be worth an estimated $130 billion.
On December 11, 2015, DuPont announced a merger with Dow Chemical Company, in an all-stock transaction. The combined company, DowDuPont, will have an estimated value of $130 billion, being equally held by both companies’ shareholders, while also maintaining its two headquarters. The merger of the two largest U.S. chemical companies closed on August 31, 2017.
Both companies' boards of directors decided that following the merger, DowDuPont would pursue a separation into three independent, publicly-traded companies: an agriculture, a materials science, and a specialty products company. The agriculture business would unite Dow and DuPont’s seed and crop protection unit, with an approximate revenue of $16 billion. The materials science segment would consist of DuPont’s Performance Materials unit, together with Dow’s Performance Plastics, Materials and Chemicals, Infrastructure and Consumer Solutions, but exclude DOW's Electronic Materials business. Combined revenue for this branch totals an estimated $51 billion. Finally, the specialty products unit would include DuPont’s Nutrition & Health, Industrial Biosciences, Safety & Protection and Electronics & Communications, as well as Dow’s aforementioned Electronic Materials business. Combined revenue for Specialty Products will total approximately $12 billion.
Advisory Committees were established for each of the businesses. DuPont CEO Ed Breen would lead the Agriculture and Specialty Products Committees, and Dow CEO Andrew Liveris would lead the Materials Science Committee. These Committees were intended to oversee their respective businesses, and would work with both CEOs on the scheduled separation of the businesses’ standalone entities.
The European Commission opened a probe to assess whether the proposed merger was in line with the EU’s respective regulations. The Commission investigated whether the deal reduced competition in areas such as crop protection, seeds and petrochemicals. The closing date for the merger was repeatedly delayed due to these regulatory inquiries.
Ed Breen said the companies were negotiating possible divestitures in their pesticide operations to win approval for the deal. As part of their EU counterproposal, the companies offered to dispose of a portion of DuPont’s crop protection business and associated R&D, as well as Dow’s acid copolymers and ionomers businesses.
The remedy submission in turn delayed the Commission’s review deadline to April 4, 2017. The intended spins of the company businesses are reported to occur about 18 months after closing. According to the Financial Times, the merger was "on track for approval in March" 2017. Dow Chemical and DuPont postponed the planned deadline during late March, as they struck an $1.6 billion asset swap with FMC Corporation in order to win the antitrust clearances. DuPont will acquire the Corporation's health and nutrition business, while selling its herbicide and insecticide properties.
The Commission conditionally approved the merger as of April, although the decision was said to consist of over a thousand pages and was expected to take several months to be released publicly. As part of the approval, Dow must also sell off two acid co-polymers manufacturing facilities in Spain and the US. India, Brazil, Russia, the US, and South Africa have yet to clear the merger, while China conditionally did so in May.
According to former United States Secretary of Agriculture during the Clinton administrations, Dan Glickman, and former Governor of Nebraska, Mike Johanns, by creating a single, independent, U.S.-based and -owned pure agriculture company, Dow and DuPont would be able to compete against their still larger global peers.
On the other hand, if Monsanto and Bayer, the 1st and 3rd largest biotech and seed firms, together with Dow and DuPont being the 4th and 5th largest biotechnology and seed companies in the world respectively, both went through with the mergers, the so-called “Big Six” in the industry would control 63 percent of the global seed market and 76 percent of the global agriculture chemical market. They would also control 95 percent of corn, soybeans, and cotton traits in the US. Both duopolies would become the “big two” industry dominators. According to Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, the key to innovation is competition, not concentration.
The merger would form the world's largest chemical company in terms of sales. Dow DuPont would be dual headquartered in Midland, Michigan and Wilmington, Delaware.