Canada's Competition Bureau clears Dow-DuPont merger with conditions

Canada’s Competition Bureau announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with Dow and DuPont to address concerns about reduced competition resulting from the companies’ proposed merger.

The conditions are similar to requirements laid out by regulators in the European Union and U.S.

The Bureau’s main concerns in agriculture stemmed from the loss of rivalry in two market segments:

  • broadleaf herbicides for cereal crops (the Bureau cited OcTTain XL, Stellar and Prestige XC from Dow, and Barricade, Travallas and Refine from DuPont), and
  • pre-seed burn-off additives for cereal crops (referencing Dow’s PrePass and DuPont’s Express herbicides.)

To address these concerns, the agreement requires DuPont sell its global cereal herbicide business to FMC Corporation, a deal which was announced back in late March.

According to the Competition Bureau, the divestiture includes:

  • the DuPont portfolio of cereal broadleaf and pre-seed burn-off herbicides in Canada and the chemical ingredients contained in those herbicides;
  • an experimental farm in Hanley, Saskatchewan;
  • a packaging facility in Calgary, Alberta;
  • a chemical manufacturing facility in Manati, Puerto Rico;
  • the PrecisionPac herbicide dispensing system; and
  • the Stine discovery facility in Newark, Delaware, which houses DuPont’s primary herbicide discovery and development efforts for Canadian markets.

Dow will also be required to sell its specialized plastics business (ethylene acrylic acid copolymers and ionomers), used in specialized packaging applications for food, beverages and pharmaceuticals, to SK Global Chemical Co.

“This transaction between two multi-national giants was of interest to Canadian farmers and those involved in this major economic sector,” said John Pecman, the Commissioner of Competition, in a statement. “The agreement reached today ensures that consumers and businesses continue to benefit from a dynamic marketplace, which offers innovative solutions, increased choice and competitive prices.”

Read the full statement from the Competition Bureau here.

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