Chemical Blog

Dow, DuPont offer concessions to gain EU approval for merger

Dow Chemical and DuPont have offered concessions in an effort to secure approval for their planned merger from European antitrust officials. The companies say they would divest a portion of DuPont’s crop protection business and associated research and development, as well as Dow’s acid copolymers and ionomers business.

The proposal pushes the deadline for the European Commission’s decision back to 4 April. The companies had originally expected the deal—announced in December 2015—to close by the end of 2016.  The European Commission has previously cited the combined company’s overlap in crop protection and the impact the merger may have on innovation as its main concerns.

Dow has already announced plans to  sell its ethylene acrylic acid (EAA) copolymers and ionomers business to SK Innovation. Together Dow and DuPont account for more than 50% of the global EAA market. The deal is subject to successful conclusion of the Dow-DuPont merger.

The two companies plan on splitting into three publicly traded companies approximately 18 months after the merger closes. The companies say they are confident the deal will be approved and that they will continue to “engage constructively” with the European Commission and other regulators in all relevant jurisdictions. Wells Fargo (New York) analyst Frank Mitsch believes that if EU clearance is received, other key regulatory authorities—namely the United States, Brazil, and China—will follow.