MIDLAND, Mich.—A mega-merger between Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. stands to have far-reaching consequences for European rivals, prompting a series of follow-on combinations as pesticide and seed makers scramble to face the emergence of a U.S. giant.
Dow is in late-stage talks to merge with DuPont in what could be the largest deal in the chemicals industry, people with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday. The company would then break into two or three businesses for antitrust reasons, the people said.
The focus in Europe on Wednesday quickly turned to Switzerland's Syngenta AG, which almost four months ago fended off a $46 billion bid from Monsanto Co. Last month, people with knowledge of the matter said China National Chemical Corp. was initially rebuffed in an approach to buy the world's biggest producer of pesticides in what would be the largest acquisition ever by a Chinese company.
A Dow and DuPont merger “makes it more likely that Monsanto re-approaches Syngenta,” Bernstein analysts including Jonas Oxgaard wrote in a note Wednesday. The bid could be at $490.9 per share, more than the $475.7 per share cash-and-stock offer withdrawn in August.