Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. hit another roadblock on their path to gaining regulatory approval for their proposed merger after the European Union antitrust regulator said on Friday it suspended its review into the deal for the second time.
The European Commission, the bloc’s antitrust authority, said the companies again didn’t provide important information requested of them. The regulator was forced to pause the review in September for the same reason, before resuming its probe again in early October.
“Dow and DuPont have always expected a thorough review,” a Dow spokeswoman said, adding that the companies continue to “work constructively with the European Commission and regulatory agencies in relevant jurisdictions.”
Given the current status of the regulatory reviews, the companies expect to close the deal in the first quarter of 2017, the spokeswoman added.
The European Commission in August had opened an in-depth investigation to determine whether the combination may reduce competition in crop protection, seeds and certain petrochemicals.
The proposed merger, disclosed in December, would unite the two companies with a combined market cap of roughly $122 billion, before splitting into three separate companies.
Dow and DuPont in July privately outlined concessions to EU authorities to address antitrust concerns but the commission said it found those remedies insufficient.
Other rivals in the agricultural sector planning to merge are also facing delays in their reviews as regulators grapple with a wave of consolidation in the industry taking place within a short period.
Swiss seed and pesticide maker Syngenta AG in October said that regulatory approval of its proposed acquisition by China National Chemical Corp. will probably be delayed into early 2017 as regulators seek more information amid a consolidation wave in the sector. The companies had previously expected the deal to close this year.
By Natalia Drozdiak
Source: Wall Street Journal
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