DuPont to acquire Rockland seaweed processing plant as it pursues merger with Dow

Posted March 31, 2017, at 5:11 p.m.

Chemical giant DuPont announced it plans to acquire the division of FMC Corp. that owns a carrageenan processing plant on Rockland’s waterfront.

DuPont announced the deal Friday as part of its bid to satisfy European antitrust regulators concerned about DuPont’s planned merger with Dow Chemical.

Through the deal, DuPoint will gain FMC’s Health and Nutrition division, which includes its Rockland plant, and about $1.6 billion. As of the third quarter of 2016, FMC was the 15th largest employer in Knox County and it is the largest taxpayer in Rockland.

The Pennsylvania-based FMC will get DuPont’s crop protection unit.

DuPont’s crop protection unit makes herbicides for cereals and insecticides for fruit and vegetables.

The European Commission had been concerned that the $130 billion merger of two of the biggest and oldest U.S. chemical producers would leave few incentives to produce new herbicides and pesticides in the future.

The Dow-DuPont merger is still to be approved by regulators in the United States, Brazil, China, Australia and Canada, but Dow and DuPont said on Monday they were confident of clearing all remaining jurisdictions.

“We are far down the road in our conversations with the other regulators,” DuPont CEO Edward Breen told Reuters, adding that conditional approval from the European Commission was “the big hurdle to get over.”

Any further asset sales required by regulatory bodies would be “very small” compared with its crop protection divestiture, Breen said.

The Dow-DuPont deal is one of a trio of mega mergers that will reshape the industry and consolidate six companies into three.

The two other big deals being ChemChina’s $43 billion bid for Syngenta and Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto.

DuPont said its merger with Dow, which was expected to close in the first half of 2017, is now anticipated to close between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1.

The combined company will eventually be spun-off into three independent publicly traded companies, the first being called “Material Science Co.”

Dow and DuPont said on Friday the intended spin-offs are expected to occur within 18 months after merger closes.

The deal with FMC is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to the closing of the DuPont-Dow merger.

BDN reporter Darren Fishell and Reuters reporter Vishaka George contributed to this story.

 

SEE COMMENTS →