The Competition Commission of South Africa has announced its conditional approval of The Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co.'s $130 billion merger.
The decision follows similar conditional approvals from global antitrust authorities in Canada and Mexico last week and from the U.S. Department of Justice on June 15.
Dow and DuPont announced merger plans in 2015. Now with the majority of approvals secured, the companies expect to close a deal in August to combine two of the biggest chemical companies in the U.S.
Pending approval from a few remaining jurisdictions, DowDuPont would split three ways within 18 months: Material Sciences, to stay headquartered in Midland, would be the first spin-off. Agriculture and Specialty Products would be based in Wilmington, Delaware.
In South Africa, Dow distributes sunflower seeds, agrochemicals, material science products and food texturizers, the Competition Commission said in a news release on its Facebook page. DuPont distributes various seeds, including maize and sunflower seeds, and agrochemicals in South Africa.
Because the merger would likely result in less competition in South African seed markets and insecticide markets in several African regions, the Competition Commission requires Dow to make certain products available to third parties for licensing.
DuPont must divest its entire insecticide business supplied in South Africa, including associated research and development.
"Farmers will continue to benefit from the availability of these insecticides in South Africa at competitive prices from a different supplier who is neither Dow nor DuPont," the release states.
Dow also is required to register its PowerCore and Enlist biotechnology traits in South Africa within two years of merger approval.
On June 28, Dow and DuPont announced a comprehensive portfolio review for DowDuPont, for which they're working with McKinsey & Co., a management consulting firm. The companies expect the DowDuPont board to review results soon after the merger closes.
"Our review will provide an in-depth look at the portfolio mix and alignment across divisions to ensure we capitalize on all value-enhancing opportunities. The output of the review will be an immediate focus for the DowDuPont Board following merger close," Alexander (Sandy) Cutler, lead director of DuPont, said in a news release.
"If the results of our review demonstrate there is net greater long-term value creation to be realized through a change in the portfolio, it will be pursued."
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