The deal would be followed by a three-way breakup of the combined company, the report said. Dow chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris would be executive chairman of combined company; DuPont CEO Edward Breen will keep the CEO title, according to the report. The companies could announce a merger in the coming days, sources told the Journal.
Spokespersons for Dow and DuPont separately declined comment on the report.
Dow Chemical shares closed today at $50.90, with market capitalization of $59 billion. DuPont shares closed at $66.61, with a market capitalization of $58.8 billion. The deal would easily be the largest chemical industry deal. Dow ranked third in CW’s 2014 Billion Dollar Club of the largest chemical makers by revenue with sales of $58.2 billion last year. DuPont ranked eighth with 2014 revenue of $24.7 billion.
Breen and Liveris have separately indicated in recent months that both companies are in discussions on deals in agricultural chemicals. The cyclical downturn in agriculture has pushed agchem makers to consider consolidation—a sentiment confirmed by nearly all senior executives at the big six agricultural chemical firms. The top ranks have remained unchanged since Novartis and Zeneca combined their ag businesses to form Syngenta in 2000, although significant consolidation has occurred in recent years among tier-2 producers, who typically focus on pesticides.