DuPont’s Performance Plastics business is back in Wilmington, Delaware after a very brief 12 days as part of Dow’s Materials Sciences group in Midland, Michigan, where it clearly did not fit under the new DowDuPont, which is delighting stock investors and confusing everyone else.
Bowing to pressure from activist investors (and common sense), DowDuPont’s board announced that several businesses were reassigned from the group that will still be known as Dow to the awkwardly named and organized Specialty Products Division.
The reassigned groups are:
- Dow’s Water and Process Solutions business,
- Dow’s Pharma and Food Solutions business,
- Dow’s Microbial Control business,
- DuPont’s Performance Polymers business, and
- Several silicones-based businesses aligned with applications in industrial LED, semiconductors, medical, as well as Molykote brand lubricants and Multibase, a compounder.
“Our DowDuPont Board is fully aligned and confident that these targeted portfolio adjustments are the right actions to take and will benefit all stakeholders over the long term,” said Andrew Liveris, executive chairman of DowDuPont. “They bear out the clear results of a significant comprehensive analysis the Dow and DuPont boards undertook over the past many months, which benefited from a fresh look provided by independent, third-party external advisors, in particular McKinsey & Company.
Following the portfolio realignments, the three intended (interesting word choice) companies of DowDuPont are:
An agriculture company based in Wilmington that includes DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences.
A materials science company based in Michigan focusing on packaging, infrastructure and consumer care.
A specialty products company with market-focused groups: Electronics & Imaging, Transportation & Advanced Polymers, Safety & Construction, and Nutrition & Biosciences.
Last week, DowDuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers announced that it is increasing production capacity at its Belgium, site for DuPont Zytel HTN high-performance polyamide resin used in the automotive, consumer and electronics markets.
“We continue to invest in our compounding capacity across regions to ensure we can meet the strong growth in demand for highly engineered specialty polymers such as PPAs,” said Richard Mayo, global business director for DowDuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers. “Investing in this compounding capacity expansion, coupled with recent investments made in Germany and China, demonstrates the traction for our innovative materials and solutions tailored to meet the evolving and often challenging requirements of our customers, wherever they are in the world.”
How much longer will Zytel and DuPont’s other iconic performance plastics be based in Wilmington? They would seem to be a better fit in a company with a deep research and marketing bench in the plastics business.
And the biomaterials business? A topic for another day.