US: DuPont CEO gives investors confidence on DOW deal

DuPont said it can address antitrust regulators’ concerns that its merger with Dow Chemical could limit discovery of new agricultural pesticides, boosting investor confidence that the $72 billion deal will be approved.

Regulators are mostly concerned that the combination could hurt innovation in crop-protection chemicals, Chief Executive Officer Ed Breen said Tuesday on a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter results. The remedy will involve products as well as related research and development resources. He didn’t provide specifics, but the process could involve selling assets.

The merger of the two biggest US chemical makers will close in June, three months later than previously anticipated, Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont said in a statement. The tie-up — along with Bayer’s agreement to buy Monsanto and China National Chemical’s deal to buy Syngenta — could reshape the agricultural-products industry.

The European Union, which has questioned whether the DuPont-Dow combination would slow development of new pesticides, on Monday granted a 10-day extension to March 14 as the deadline for review. The companies requested the delay to fine-tune a package of concessions.

“My gut is we are in the second quarter” to complete the merger, Breen said on the call. He noted that smaller jurisdictions typically wait to rule on competition issues until after action by larger ones, such as the EU and the US.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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