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DuPont And Thermo Complete Acquisitions

by Marc S. Reisch
May 23, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 21

After four months of delays, DuPont has completed its $6.6 billion purchase of enzyme and food ingredient maker Danisco. Separately, after five months, Thermo Fisher Scientific has completed the $2.1 billion purchase of Dionex, a manufacturer of liquid and ion chromatography scientific instruments. In DuPont’s case, first regulatory approvals and then shareholder resistance to the original offering price of $6.3 billion delayed completion of the Danisco deal. Despite backing from the Danish firm’s management and two offer extensions, only 48% of Danisco shareholders had tendered their shares by late April. Faced with these results, on April 29 DuPont made its “best and final offer” of $6.6 billion, a 5% premium over the original one. In addition, the firm lowered the number of Danisco shares it required to complete the deal from 90% to 80%. The increased offer did the trick: By May 13, more than 92% of shareholders had accepted the deal. For Thermo Fisher, the sticking point was gaining regulatory approval for the deal, which the firm completed on May 13. Less than a week later, Thermo Fisher acquired Sterilin, a U.K.-based provider of single-use products for life sciences customers, from private equity firm Nova Capital Management. Sterilin has annual sales of $35 million and 270 employees.


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