The DowDuPont “merger of equals” and planned breakup has a clear logic to it, and it is this: to augment Dow Chemical’s core businesses with DuPont’s most profitable division, Performance Materials, to create a conservative $50 billion company not distracted by both companies’ recent experimentations in areas like agriculture and biology. The logic makes perfect sense from Dow’s perspective, but for DuPont the result is wrenching. The companies being spun out of the merger each have high-value DuPont divisions that would be far more valuable in other hands: the world’s foremost industrial biosciences division, a top North American seed company, and a solid commodity chemicals group top the list. Clients who move fast can secure enormously valuable assets from this chaotic process.
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