DuPont (NYSE: DD) has offered to sell part of its crop protection business and associated R&D capabilities and Dow proposes to offload its acid copolymers and ionomers unit in an attempt to help the two companies’ merger clear European regulatory hurdles, according to The Wall Street Journal. The European Commission has been investigating whether the $72 billion merger will reduce competition in the agriculture and chemical industries since late June. The two companies hope to close their transaction during 1H, with the divestitures to start 18 months later, per the WSJ.
This marks the second regulatory go-around for the deal, following a divestiture proposal last July that failed to pass muster and which prompted a broader look at the deal. The deadline for the European Commission's decision has been extended from March 14 to April 4 as a result of the latest proposal. Dow and Dupont’s deal is one of three major mergers in the agrochemical industry currently under the Commission’s review, along with Bayer’s proposed takeover of Monsanto and ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta; together, they represent nearly $225 billion in moves.