DowDuPont Pitch 'Knocked Their Socks Off'

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(Image Courtesy: Dow AgroSciences) (Image Courtesy: Dow AgroSciences)

Indiana Secretary of Agriculture Ted McKinney says a high-level team of state, city and education leaders mounted an aggressive strategy to attract a piece of an $18 billion agriculture company that would be created with the proposed merger of DuPont (NYSE: DD) and The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW). Indianapolis is home to Dow AgroSciences LLC and 1,400 employees, which will be part of the new company. Indiana faced the possibility of losing a presence altogether. Dow and DuPont announced Friday morning the new ag company will be headquartered in Delaware and have Global Business Centers in Indianapolis and Iowa.

McKinney says, despite not landing the headquarters, it "will not take away from the stature, and the quality and the prominence of the people who are here and who will move here over time."

The merger could be complete in the second half of the year, at which point, the scope of the new ag company and the work force in Indianapolis will become more clear. Neither the companies nor the state have detailed how many jobs will be retained, gained or lost through the transition. Plans call for DowDuPont to spin out into three, independently-traded companies focusing on different things. The new ag company would overtake Missouri-based Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) as the largest of its kind.

Johnston, Iowa is home of DuPont Pioneer, a seed-focused business that employs thousands. McKinney says "speculation suggests" the Indiana Global Business Center will focus more on crop protection and biotechnology, but he says details are still very much unclear.

Indiana's team included representatives from the Indiana Economic Development Corp., Governor Mike Pence, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels.

Indiana Economic Development Corp. President Jim Schellinger, who was involved in the pitch, says the state made quite an impression on the company officials he talked to.
Indiana Secretary of Agriculture Ted McKinney says the stakes have been high.
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