WASHINGTON, July 20, 2016 - Stockholders of Dow Chemical and DuPont have voted to approve a merger of the two companies.
“The companies expect the merger transaction to close in the second half of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals,” Dow and DuPont said in a joint press release.
The votes mean that the companies now can look at where to cut their operations given the $3 billion in estimated “synergies” that will result from the merger. “We are already studying some of the things we are allowed to study,” DuPont CEO Ed Breen told the Wilmington News-Journal.
“The overwhelming support of Dow and DuPont stockholders to approve this historic merger transaction is a clear testament to the compelling value proposition and enhanced shareholder value that DowDuPont represents,” Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris said. “Today is a pivotal step toward bringing together these two iconic enterprises, and to the subsequent intended separation into three leading, independent technology and innovation-based science companies that will generate significant benefits for all stakeholders.”
Shortly after the vote, Dow released its results: nearly 825 million shares voted in favor of the merger, and about 13 million against. Another 769 million votes were cast in favor of an advisory proposal to "approve the compensation that may be paid or become payable to Dow’s named executive officers in connection with the transaction." About 56 million shares were cast in opposition.
Said Breen, “We are now focused on important next steps toward completing the merger transaction, including working with regulators in the appropriate jurisdictions. We are confident that this merger will create long-term, sustainable value for stockholders and superior solutions and choices for customers.”
If the merger goes ahead as planned, the new DowDuPont will split into three separate, publicly traded companies focused on agriculture, material science and specialty products, subject to approval by the DowDuPont board and regulatory approvals, the companies said.
Dow sales in 2015 were $48.7 billion. DuPont’s were $25 billion.
Earlier this week, the National Corn Growers Association expressed concern about the merger in a letter to the Justice Department, which is reviewing the proposal. But NCGA also said there could be benefits in the form of increased competition in both the seed and crop protection markets.
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