You've heard of Dow Chemical. You've heard of DuPont. Prepare to forget both as single entities: Assuming regulators give their blessing, the two will merge into one chemical behemoth to be known as DowDuPont. At least for a while. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the plan eventually calls for DowDupont to then split into three smaller companies via tax-free spinoffs. The two existing companies have more than three centuries of history between them, notes the New York Times, and this merger would be the biggest ever in the chemical industry. Once completed, the split into three smaller companies would take another two years or so.
"Despite its size and complexity, the deal could overcome antitrust concerns with modest divestitures," observes a story at Bloomberg that rounds up analyst reaction. "The product overlap isn’t extensive and the focus will probably be on seeds and crop chemicals," according to one of them. And in that area, the new entity would be going up against other giants such as Monsanto. Dow now employs 53,000 and DuPont 63,000, though layoffs are expected at both companies as part of the deal.