DuPont to acquire FMC’s health and nutrition business in billion dollar food-crop swap

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/Nomadsoul1
© iStock/Nomadsoul1

Related tags Chemical industry

DuPont will acquire FMC’s health and nutrition business and divest part of its crop chemical business in what it says is “a meaningful step forward” for the proposed DuPont and Dow merger.

DuPont will receive $1.6 billion (€1.5bn) due to the difference in the value of the assets.

This includes $1.2bn (€1.1bn) in cash and working capital of $425 million (€398m). The divestiture will satisfy DuPont's commitments to the European Commission over the conditional regulatory clearance of the merger with Dow, it said.

The $130 billion mega-merger with Dow Chemical was expected to close in the first half of 2017 has been pushed back to between August and September this year.

DuPont's asset swap with FMC also needs to be rubberstamped by regulators but the companies said they expected it to go through in the fourth quarter of this year.

FMC's health and nutrition business generated more than $700m (€655m) in revenue in 2016 mainly from texturants, such as carrageenan, alginates, cellulose and other gums, used as food ingredients and pharmaceutical excipients. It also supplies natural colours for the food industry.

DuPont said the transaction would strengthen its access to key ingredients for its food texturants portfolio, enabling expansion particularly into the “fast-growing​” pharma excipients space.

"This agreement with FMC is a win-win,”​ said chairman and CEO of DuPont Edward D. Breen. “It is pro-competitive; it advances the regulatory approval process; and it maintains the strategic logic and value creation potential of our merger with Dow and the three independent companies we intend to create​."

"Our intended independent agriculture company will continue to benefit from the combined, complementary strengths of DuPont and Dow, which will include greatly expanded offerings and a robust pipeline across seed germplasm, biotech traits, and crop protection to provide greater choice and innovation to growers around the world.

"At the same time, we are significantly enhancing our nutrition and health capabilities, a key area of growth and opportunity for the intended independent specialty products company.”

Once the deal is done, FMC will be the fifth largest crop protection chemical company in the world in terms of revenue, making an estimated $3.8bn (€3.55bn) annually.

Pierre Brondeau, FMC’s president, CEO and chairman said:  "FMC health and nutrition is a highly profitable business with leading positions across the vast majority of its portfolio, deep applications knowledge and an extensive global network of laboratories and manufacturing facilities. 

"It is a very complementary fit with DuPont's current portfolio.  We are confident it will thrive under DuPont's leadership and will contribute to their successful nutrition and health business."

The geographic spread of revenue in herbicides and pesticides will result in a significant increase in FMC's presence in Asia and Europe, it said, with revenue from these chemicals spread across– North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

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