The impending merger between Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont, announced on December 10, will take until well into 2017 to pass all regulatory hurdles. The all-stock deal, worth US$130-billion, is intended to result in three operating divisions, representing agricultural products, raw materials and specialty products. DuPont’s chief executive Ed Breen will be CEO of the new company, while Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris will be executive chairman. “This transaction is a game-changer for our industry and reflects the culmination of a vision we have had for more than a decade to bring together these two powerful innovation and material science leaders,” Liveris said in a statement. There will likely be staff reductions in the merged chemicals giants, which both have long histories. DuPont has close to 60,000 employees worldwide, and Dow slightly less. Herbert Dow, a Canadian chemist, founded his company by producing bleach and potassium bromide near the company’s current HQ in Midland, MI, in 1897. It began selling synthetic resins in the 1930s. DuPont is almost a century older having begun in 1802 as a gunpowder mill opened by Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, who had left France after its Revolution some years earlier. This was just outside Wilmington, DE, where DuPont still has its HQ. During the US Civil War, the company supplied an estimated half of all gunpowder used by the Union Army, but was later broken up under the Sherman Antitrust Act, because of its stranglehold on the US gunpowder market. Like Dow, it branched into polymers and other chemicals between the two world wars.