DuPont Names New CEO Edward Breen; Exploring Acquisition of Syngenta
WILMINGTON, DE - The DuPont Board of Directors have announced Edward D. Breen as the company’s newest Chair and Chief Executive Officer, and with it the potential for possible mergers and acquisitions with rivals like Syngenta and more.
"Ed Breen brings to DuPont an exceptional track record of business leadership and value creation,” said Alexander M. Cutler, DuPont's Lead Independent Director. “As a Chief Executive, he has consistently delivered superior returns through robust growth and portfolio strategies, across a range of industries. As a DuPont board member and interim chair and CEO, Ed has rapidly and actively engaged in advancing the transformation of DuPont."
Breen has served as interim chair and CEO of DuPont since October of this year, and joined the company's board in February 2015.
Last month while still in his interim position however, Breen said he was discussing possible deals with executives at rival agriculture companies, many of which are considering mergers amid what the Wall Street Journal is calling, “a three-year decline in crop prices that has pushed seed and pesticide prices down.” DuPont reportedly has been holding early-stage discussions with both Dow Chemical Co. and Syngenta AG, but these discussions may still not result in any definitive deals, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
As we’ve previously reported, in August, Monsanto pulled out of its offer to acquire Syngenta for $47 billion after the Swiss company said the offer “fundamentally undervalued” the costs it would take to implement a merger. While this deal would have created the world’s largest supplier of seeds and pesticides, analysts suggest that now Monsanto could be facing the threat of even bigger competitors if its rivals end up going through with a merger.
A merged Syngenta and DuPont would control about 27% of global pesticide sales, according to data from Morgan Stanley. However, analysts suggest that the combination would likely require a divestment of Syngenta’s U.S. seed business to avoid antitrust concerns, according to the Wall Street Journal.
DuPont and Dow’s agricultural operations combined would total about 17% control of the global market in pesticides, putting them solidly in third place behind Syngenta and Bayer, according to Morgan Stanley. Dow’s seed business could possibly also be divested if a deal were to go through.
For more on this story as it develops, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.