Bromine Dow was founded in by chemist Herbert Henry Dowwho invented a new method of extracting the bromine that was trapped underground in brine at Midland, Michigan. Early in the company's history, a group of British manufacturers tried to drive Dow out of the bleach business by cutting prices. Instead of competing directly for market share with the German producers, Dow bought the cheap German-made bromides and shipped them back to Europe. This undercut his German competitors.
Dow and DuPont shares fell on Friday after soaring earlier in the week following reports of negotiations between the two companies. The deal, announced on Friday, will face intense regulatory scrutiny, analysts said, especially over combining their agricultural businesses, which sell seeds and crop protection chemicals, including insecticides and pesticides.
Executives from both companies said the agrichemicals businesses have little overlap and any asset sales would likely be minor. Potential tax savings were one reason for the complicated merger-before-breakup deal, analysts said. Dow shareholders would own 52 percent of the new company after preferred shares are converted, while DuPont investors would own the remaining 48 percent, the companies said.
The merger, one of the biggest of the year, would allow Dow and DuPont to rejig assets based on the diverging fortunes of their businesses. The companies have been struggling with falling demand for farm chemicals due to slumping crop prices and a strong dollar, even as their plastics businesses thrive thanks to low natural gas prices.
Game Changer DuPont, which is years old, makes products used in petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and construction.
Its brands include Kevlar and formerly Teflon, now part of Chemours Cowhich it had spun off. The year old Dow makes plastics, chemicals, hydrocarbons, and agrochemicals. It manufacturers Styrofoam insulation products and chlorine products, used in paper, pulp and soap and owns half of silicone products maker Dow Corning.
It said on Friday it would buy the remaining stake in the joint venture from Corning Inc. Breen, chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont, pictured with Andrew N. The specialty products company would sell materials to the electronics and communications industries as well as to the safety and protection sectors.
It could also prompt a renewed flurry of takeover bids for European rivals, with Syngenta AG the most likely target. Monsanto Co may take another shot at Syngenta, according to analysts.
Activist investor Nelson Peltzwho has long championed breaking up stodgy conglomerates, has been pressing DuPont to separate its agriculture, nutrition and biosciences units from its building and safety materials divisions.
Another activist investor, Dan Loebhas been pushing Dow to split its agri business and other specialty chemical units from its petrochemical divisions. Regulators will be especially concerned about the agricultural sector, which could see big divestitures, antitrust experts said.
The new board would have 16 members, with each company contributing eight directors, the companies said.Dow (hereinafter, and for purposes of this MSDS only, refers to The Dow Chemical Company and to Dow Chemical Canada Inc.) encourages and expects you to .
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