The just-announced merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont apparently will have little immediate effect on Kent and Sussex counties.
DuPont has virtually no footprint in either county, noted Kent County Economic Development Director Jim Waddington, and his Sussex County counterpart, Melody Booker-Wilkins.
The new company, which will be called DowDuPont, will have a market capitalization of about $130 billion. The new company will be split into three smaller entities:
- Agriculture: a combination of both companies’ seed and crop protection businesses, with estimated revenue of $19 billion
- Material Science: involving plastics, performance materials, chemicals and related operations, with revenue estimated to be about $51 billion
- Specialty Products: this takes in nutrition and health, industrial biosciences, safety and electronics, with estimated revenue of about $13 billion
Dupont once had a nylon production facility in Seaford, but no longer is connected with that business.
“I don’t see anything that would directly impact us in Kent County,” Waddington said, although the new company’s agricultural divisions might be interested in working with some proposed food innovation districts in the county.
Food innovation districts concentrate food production, storage and distribution operations and related businesses in one area to help spur development and innovation.
Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said in a statement he hopes the new company will continue to invest in the First State.
“It isn't yet clear what this merger will mean for Delaware, but as we learn more, my focus will be on the pensioners and employees whose lives could be affected,” Coons said.
“It’s those families and our community I'm concerned about. I look forward to hearing more from DuPont and Dow leaders about what this merger will mean for pensioners, employees, and our state.”
Gov. Jack Markell also said he would like to see DuPont’s long affiliation with Delaware continue.
“I have spoken to DuPont CEO Ed Breen about plans for DowDuPont,” Markell said in a statement.”We have talked about the great business environment in Delaware and the many talented scientists, engineers and business leaders who call Delaware home and who can be at the center of growth for the three new businesses. We will continue to advocate that Delaware's many advantages can be of major benefit to the new companies.
“None of this, of course, is of any solace for the workers and families who will be affected by this transition. The state is committed to supporting those affected by DuPont's cost cutting in Delaware.”