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EU regulators halt Dow, DuPont merger review to gather data

DuPont's headquarters in Delaware. (DuPont.com)

Brussels | Reuters — European Union antitrust regulators have halted their scrutiny of Dow Chemical and DuPont’s proposed merger while the companies provide more information regarding their US$130 billion deal.

The European Commission opened a full investigation into the case in August, concerned that the deal to create the world’s largest integrated crop protection and seeds company may reduce competition in these sectors as well as certain petrochemicals.

“The Commission has stopped the clock in its in-depth investigation into the proposed merger between Dow and Dupont,” a spokesman said.

“This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties do not provide an important piece of information that the Commission has requested from them.”

The EU antitrust enforcer will set a new deadline for its investigation once it has received the required data. DuPont and Dow Chemicals, which aim to close their deal in early 2017, had previously offered concessions which regulators said were insufficient.

The agrichemicals industry has seen a wave of consolidation in recent months. ChemChina may seek EU approval next week for its US$43 billion takeover of Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta, according to a person familiar with the matter.

German pharmaceutical and crop chemicals manufacturer Bayer is also pursuing U.S. peer and world No. 1 seeds company Monsanto Co.

Reporting for Reuters by Foo Yun Chee.

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