DuPont bolsters life sciences

Chemical giant DuPont (Wilmington, DE) agreed last month to buy Pioneer Hi-Bred (Des Moines, IA) in a deal worth $7.7 billion. DuPont will pay cash and stock for the remaining 80% of the world's largest seed concern it does not already own. As a result, DuPont's agriculture businesses will be worth $5 billion—a major player in agricultural biotechnology competing directly with Monsanto (St. Louis, MO), which bought several seed companies last year (Nat. Biotechnol. 16, 497, 1998). The deal follows DuPont's announcement that it plans to issue a tracking stock for its life sciences business. Pioneer, the stock price of which jumped 40% on the day following news of a possible deal, will continue to operate under its own name but as a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont.

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Dorey, E. DuPont bolsters life sciences. Nat Biotechnol 17, 315 (1999).

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