In a bid to pacify European regulators, DuPont (DD - Get Report) is selling part of its crop business to FMC Corp. (FMC - Get Report) while also purchasing FMC's health and nutrition business. The deal includes $1.2 billion in cash and another $425 million in working capital.
DuPont is currently attempting to get U.S. regulatory approval for its $62 billion merger with Dow Chemical (DOW) .
FMC said its acquisition includes an insecticide portfolio consisting of Rynaxypyr, Cyazypyr, and Indoxacarb and that it expects the first two to generate over $1 billion in 2017 revenue.
"This is a significant step forward for FMC, and for our Agricultural Solutions business in particular," Pierre Brondeau, FMC president, CEO, and chairman, said in a statement. "The combination of market-leading products from DuPont's crop protection portfolio and its world-class R&D capabilities will transform our Agricultural Solutions business into a tier-one ag technology company."
After closing of the acquisition, FMC Agricultural Solutions will become the fifth largest crop protection chemical company in the world by revenue, with estimated annual revenue of approximately $3.8 billion.
The European Commission signed off on the $130 billion merger between Dow and DuPont earlier this month but insisted on the sale of the latter's pesticides business to ensure competition in the agrochemicals sector.
"Pesticides are products that matter - to farmers, consumers and the environment," said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement. "We need effective competition in this sector, so companies are pushed to develop products that are ever safer for people and better for the environment. Our decision today ensures that the merger between Dow and DuPont does not reduce price competition for existing pesticides or innovation for safer and better products in the future."
According to TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, the only catch with this deal is that Dow and DuPont have pushed back the expected closing date of the merger to between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1, later than prior expectations for a "first half of 2017" close.
"We do not view this as an issue for investors, as a) two-three months is a small price to pay for approval of a deal that should drive lifetime value, and b) this was always going to be a likely result of the required divestitures noted in the EC's conditional approval (realistically, it takes time to find the right partner for divestitures). Importantly, the companies still expect to complete the spin-off of the three focused businesses 18 months following the closing of the merger," Cramer said.
Speaking on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment Friday, Cramer reiterated that the news is good, despite shares of DuPont falling slightly on the day. FMC on the other hand is climbing about 15%.
Earnings estimates for FMC increase significantly, while DuPont clears the way for its merger with Dow. It's a win-win, Cramer reasoned, particularly because DuPont didn't have to give up its "crown jewel," it only had to sell part of its crop protection business.
Not to mention its acquisition of FMC Health and Nutrition is nothing to sneeze at. Along with the $1.2 billion in cash DuPont received, the health and nutrition unit is a solid secular growth business, he explained.
All in all, DuPont is one step closer to closing the merger and that's what's really important, he concluded.