A $59 billion merger between Dow and DuPont will be delayed until at least next spring. The hang-up is over the agriculture side of the deal, which could impact thousands of workers in Indiana and the Midwest.
The two huge chemical companies planned to wrap up their merger by the end of this year. But company executives now say regulatory delays could push that into February or March.
The corporations plan to combine and then split into three separate companies: one agriculture, one material sciences and one specialty products.
The European Union’s antitrust arm is still reviewing the plan. Dow CEO Andrew Liveris told Bloomberg that regulators are most concerned about the agriculture piece, which would create the world’s largest seed and pesticide company.
It would even outstrip current global leaders Monsanto and Syngenta, though they’re pursuing big mergers of their own. German pharmaceutical giant Bayer is acquiring Monsanto, and Syngenta is merging with China’s state-owned chemical firm, ChemChina.
If approved, the DowDupont agribusiness’s corporate headquarters would in DuPont’s home state of Delaware. But other operations would likely remain in places like Iowa, home to DuPont Pioneer, and Indianapolis, where 1,500 people work at Dow Agrosciences.
It’s still not clear if the merger will cost any of them their jobs, or force them to move. Both companies cut about 10 percent of their combined workforce when the merger was first announced last year.