EU Reopens Dow-DuPont Probe
The European Commission has reopened its probe into the planned $130 billion merger of US chemical giants after the companies provided additional data. The EU regulatory authority suspended the process in early September, due to what it said was incomplete information. The Commission has now set a deadline of Feb. 6, 2017 to decide on whether or not to greenlight the deal.
Dow Chemical and DuPont have expressed confident of receiving EU approval, with or without possibly mandated divestments. Sources have told news agencies that the Commission considered a preliminary offer of divestments inadequate to allay its regulatory concerns. Both of the US chemical giants have a major presence in Europe.
The delay imposed by the Commission, which first announced its in-depth review in August, pushes the timetable for a possible conclusion of the merger into next year. It could also extend the probe beyond February. The potential partners said earlier they hoped to complete their deal by the end of this year,
“We remain focused on working with the European Commission toward closing the transaction by year-end 2016. In the event that the Commission utilizes the full allotted time, closing would be expected to occur in the early part of 2017, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of all regulatory approvals,” the companies said in a statement.
Regulatory authorities in numerous global jurisdictions are simultaneously having to review merger plans involving most of the agrochemicals sector, including Bayer’s plan to acquire Monsanto and ChemChina’s agreement to buy Syngenta.