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April 21, 2003
Volume 81, Number 16
CENEAR 81 16 p. 9
ISSN 0009-2347


RESTRUCTURING

DuPont Eyes Sale Of Fibers Business

WILLIAM STORCK

DuPont says it is in negotiations with an unnamed third party concerning the possible sale of its DuPont Textiles & Interiors (DTI) subsidiary.

The disclosure of the negotiations seems to come only because it must be included in the offering circular for DuPont's tender offer for the 24% of DuPont Canada that it doesn't own. DTI is a substantial part of DuPont Canada's business and operations. The Canadian company's sales from nylon enterprise and specialty fibers businesses in 2002 were some $1.03 billion, or about 42% of its total sales.

DuPont said, when announcing the tender offer, that if the acquisition were to be unsuccessful, it would transfer its entire 24% interest in DuPont Canada to DTI to be included in its planned disposal of DTI. The circular was mailed to DuPont Canada shareholders last week.

DTI, with 2002 sales of $6.28 billion and after-tax operating profits of $72 million, includes DuPont's nylon, polyester, and Lycra fibers. The unit had been identified for disposal in February 2002 when DuPont said it was considering "a full range of options" for separating the business. Industry observers expected an initial public offering, although a sale was always one of the options.

While DuPont would not name the prospective buyer, speculation centers on Koch Industries, which, in the past few years, has been building a significant fibers business.

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