DuPont wins takeover bid for Danisco

City A.M. Reporter
US CHEMICALS maker DuPont has won its $6.4bn (£3.9bn) takeover battle for Danisco, with 92.2 per cent of the Danish food ingredients maker’s shares tendered in support.

Nearly half of DuPont’s revenue will now come from food-related sources, a stark change for the company that invented nylon and supplied gunpowder for World War One.

That transition away from the company’s traditional chemical base is part of chief executive Ellen Kullman’s plan to capitalise on spiking global food demand.

“This combination will create an industry leader in industrial biosciences and nutrition and health,” Kullman said yesterday.

DuPont had aggressively fought for Danisco since its initial friendly offer of 665 Danish crowns per share in January. Some dissident shareholders scoffed at that price, forcing DuPont to raise its cash offer to 700 crowns last month.

DuPont needed at least 90 per cent of Danisco shareholders to approve the deal. Up until Friday’s deadline, it appeared DuPont would not reach that mark, meaning it would have to run Danisco as a majority shareholder on the NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen.

A big uncertainty was the position of US hedge fund Elliott Associates. It had built up a 10.02 per cent stake in Danisco and rejected the initial offer.

Why Elliott accepted the final offer was not immediately clear. An Elliott spokesman declined to comment.

“With an acceptance of slightly over 92 per cent, this is the clearest possible conclusion to the bid process you could get,” Danisco chief executive Tom Knutzen said.

DuPont said settlement of valid acceptances would take place on 19 May and it would “as soon as possible” initiate a compulsory redemption of all remaining shares in Danisco and apply for the shares to be delisted.