Dow to sell part of Brazil corn seed business

Reuters — Dow Chemical said it had agreed to sell a portion of its corn seed business in Brazil to a unit of China’s CITIC Ltd. for US$1.1 billion as it seeks to gain approval for its merger with DuPont from the country’s antitrust regulator.

The divestiture includes seed processing plants and seed research centers, a copy of Dow AgroSciences’ Brazilian corn germplasm bank, the Morgan seed brand and a license for the use of the Dow Sementes brand for a certain period of time, Dow said on Tuesday.

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The assets being divested generated revenue of about US$287 million in 2016, Dow said.

Dow and DuPont announced the all-stock merger in December 2015 in one of the largest deals ever that was valued at US$130 billion.

The two companies won U.S. and Canadian antitrust approvals last month to merge on condition that they sell certain crop protection products and other assets. The European Union also cleared their merger in March.

Dow reaffirmed that the merger deal was expected to close next month, with the intended spinoffs to occur within 18 months of closing.

The companies have said that they would split into three separate companies specializing in material sciences, specialty products, and seeds and agrochemicals upon completion of the merger.

— Reporting for Reuters by Ahmed Farhatha in Bangalore.

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