DuPont Purchases Danisco

Danish specialty food ingredients company Danisco said on Monday it would be acquired by US chemical giant Dupont in a deal worth $6.3 billion (4.9 billion euros), pending approval by regulators.

The purchase will involve $5.8 billion paid in cash and assumption of $500 million of Danisco's net debt, the Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont announced late on Sunday.

"Danisco is a premier company, a long-time successful partner of DuPont and a proven innovator committed to sustainable growth," said DuPont chairwoman and CEO Ellen Kullman.

"Danisco has attractive, market-driven science businesses that offer clear synergies with DuPont nutrition and health and applied biosciences," DuPont said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close early in the second quarter of this year, pending the green light from Danish regulators.

"The Board of Directors of Danisco has unanimously resolved that it intends to recommend the shareholders to accept the offer when made," Danisco said in a statement said.

DuPont will pay 655 Danish kroner ($113.5) per share, a premium of 25 percent at the close of trading in Copenhagen on Friday, Danisco said.

The price of Danisco shares rose to 669.5 kroner on Monday morning, with analysts saying the small difference with the price offered by DuPont indicated that no rival bid was expected.

Kullman said that Danisco had two global businesses which strongly complemented DuPont's current biotechnology capabilities, a research and development pipeline and specialty food ingredients, a combination that offers "attractive long-term financial returns."

"This also would create new opportunities across other parts of the DuPont portfolio, including traditional materials science offerings," she added.

Danisco produces specialty food ingredients, including enablers, cultures and sweeteners, that generate about 65 percent of its total sales, company officials said.

Genencor, its enzymes division, represents 35 percent of total sales.

Danisco and DuPont are already joint venture partners in the development of cellulosic ethanol technology, the officials pointed out.

Danisco, which has 7,000 employees and operates in 23 countries, has a turnover of $2.37 billion.

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