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May 2, 2011

DuPont Ups Bid For Danisco

Acquisitions: New offer values Danish firm at $6.6 billion

Marc Reisch

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Thom Thompson
Kullman

After twice extending its $6.3 billion offer to buy Danisco, DuPont has made a "best and final offer" of $6.6 billion in an attempt to win over shareholders who snubbed the earlier deal. DuPont also lowered the number of shares required to complete the deal, which it announced in January, from 90% to 80%.

The board of Danisco, a maker of enzymes and food ingredients, says the new price "represents compelling value" and urges holdout shareholders to accept the improved deal. The board supported DuPont's earlier offer as well.

At latest count, shareholders had tendered only 48% of Danisco's shares to DuPont, far short of the 90% DuPont sought when it offered to buy the firm for 665 Danish kroner per share (C&EN, Jan. 17, page 7). The new bid is 5% above the January offer and a 32% premium to Danisco's closing price the day before DuPont offered to buy it.

The deadline for shareholders to tender their shares is now May 13. "We continue to believe the strategic and financial logic of the acquisition will deliver significant benefits," DuPont CEO Ellen J. Kullman says of the proposed deal, which would be the company's first significant purchase since she became CEO in 2009. However, if shareholders do not meet the deadline, she says, DuPont will "explore other paths for achieving the benefits that Danisco would have offered us."

Laurence Alexander, a stock analyst with the investment firm Jefferies & Co., says DuPont is likely playing its "last card" with the final offer. Danish regulations bar more than one offer increase. However, if the new offer succeeds, it will make DuPont's "decade-long industrial biotech foray effectively self-funding," extending beyond cellulosic ethanol "into biobased materials and chemical building blocks," Alexander says.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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