Friday, May 25, 2007

M&A Madness! Did Dow Stalk DuPont Last Fall?

The New York Times reports this morning that Dow Chemical made a bid to acquire DuPont last fall. The gem is included in a report that discloses that the SEC has launched an inquiry into whether two senior executives at Dow Chemical secretly tried to put the company into play as well as into the unusual trading in its stock that may have resulted.
But the inquiry, still in the informal stage, may also look at a deal that the company actually pursued, the Times reports. Last fall, Dow made an overture to acquire DuPont in a deal worth more than $40 billion, according to people involved in the talks.
DuPont rebuffed the advance and never engaged in negotiations, the Times says. The article notes that Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, sits on the board of Citigroup with Alain J. P. Belda, the CEO of Alcoa, who at the time of the overture was also a director of DuPont. Belda stepped down from DuPont’s board in March.

UPDATE (12:10 p.m.):
Dow has declined comment on the possible SEC investigation, as well as whether it made an approach to DuPont last fall.

DuPont's statement is below:
"We have seen today’s New York Times article on Dow Chemical and have no comment," DuPont said. "We are fully focused on our strategic plan, which is showing strong results. DuPont recently completed an 8-year transformation into a science company focused on sustainable growth. More than 25 percent of the company is now in a leading position in high value-added, non-cyclical businesses in bio-sciences, agricultural and industrial biotechnology and biofuels. Our science-based products and services are targeted to global markets including agriculture, transportation, construction and safety and protection."


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