The proposed $130 billion merger of DuPont (NYSE: DD) and The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) has cleared another key hurdle. The companies say they have received approval from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division which would permit the merger to move forward.
The agreement is still subject to court approval. The companies say if approval is granted, there would be no further approvals required in the U.S. for the merger to close. Both Dow and DuPont continue to expect the deal to close in August.
The agreement includes a previously-announced decision for DuPont to divest a portion of its crop protection business, while Dow will divest its global Ethylene Acrylic Acid copolymers and ionomers business. The divestitures are already part of commitments made to obtain regulatory clearance in Europe.
"We are very pleased that the DOJ has approved this transaction," said Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer of Dow. "With today’s DOJ clearance, we have taken a significant step forward in bringing together these two iconic enterprises, and in the subsequent intended separation into three leading, independent innovation-based science companies that will generate significant benefits for all stakeholders."
Once the merger closes, the newly-named DowDuPont will spin out into three independent, publicly-traded companies, including a $18 billion agriculture spinoff that will have a major presence at the current Dow Agrosciences facility in Indianapolis. The spin-offs are expected to take place within 18 months of the merger closing.
Last month, the companies announced the members of what will be the DowDuPont Board of Directors.