Union expresses concern as two of agro-chemicals "big six" to merge

Two of the world's largest producers of crop protection products and agricultural seed, DuPont and Dow Chemical, have agreed a $130bn (£85bn) merger.

DuPont chairman and CEO Edward Breen, and Dow president, chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris - image: Dow DuPont
DuPont chairman and CEO Edward Breen, and Dow president, chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris - image: Dow DuPont

The combined company will be known as Dow DuPont. However the two parties have agreed that within two years, the unified company will then split into three independent, publicly traded companies, one of which will be solely concerned with agriculture.

The actual merger is not expected to be complete until the second half of 2016. It is expected to bring a saving of $3bn in cost synergies, with a further $1 billion expected from growth synergies, the two said in a statement. Both companies' headquarters, Dow's in Michigan and DuPont's in Delaware, will be retained.

The two generated $19bn in turnover from agriculture in 2014.

America's National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson said that having just five major players remaining in the marketplace would "almost certainly" increase the pressure for remaining companies to merge, resulting in even less competition, reduced innovation and likely higher costs for farmers.

"This announcement, combined with the on-again-off-again Monsanto/Syngenta merger, is creating a marketplace where farmers will have very few alternatives for purchasing inputs," the union said.


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