After Dow Chemical and DuPont announced plans to merge in late 2015, chemical industry watchers predicted that the year ahead would bring an unprecedented blizzard of deal-making.
Speaking before the IHS World Petrochemical Conference in March, Scott Kleinman, lead partner for private equity at Apollo Global Management, was certain that big companies would keep buying each other.
“I think you are going to see deals you thought would never happen happen this year,” Kleinman concluded.
However, by the third quarter, merger and acquisition activity had cooled. According to the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 23 transactions were announced in the chemical industry during the July–September quarter, a decline of 47% versus the quarter before.
PwC blames uncertainty. “We saw deal-makers take a pause, anxiously waiting for the Fed’s decision on interest rates and the outcome of the U.S. presidential election,” the firm said in an October report.