While the deal still needs Canadian and and Mexican approval, the $130-billion merger between chemical giants Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont has provisional approval in the US. The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission announced on June 15 that they had approved the transaction on the condition that each company make some divestitures. Dow will have to sell its acid copolymers and ionomers business, while DuPont must divest its Finesse and Rynaxypyr lines of pesticides. The companies expect the deal to close in August. Dow announced in February that it planned to sell its ethylene-acrylic acid copolymers and ionomers business to SK Global Chemical Co. Ltd. Dow and DuPont are North America’s only suppliers of acid copolymers and ionomers, which are used in consumer product packaging and industrial applications such as metalized building panels. In March, DuPont entered into an agreement with FMC Corp. to sell a portion of its Crop Protection business, in an effort to gain approval for the merger with Dow. In that deal, DuPont will acquire FMC’s Health and Nutrition business and receive $1.2-billion cash from FMC in exchange for what FMC describes as “a significant portion” of DuPont’s Crop Protection business. “The remedies obtained by today’s settlement, including the divestiture of DuPont’s market-leading Finesse and Rynaxypyr crop protection products, will preserve vigorous competition in the sale of these products and benefit American farmers and consumers alike,” said acting assistant attorney-general Andrew Finch, of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. “We are very pleased that the DOJ has approved this transaction,” said Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer. “With today’s DOJ clearance, we have taken a significant step forward in bringing together these two iconic enterprises, and in the subsequent intended separation into three leading, independent innovation-based science companies that will generate significant benefits for all stakeholders.” The merger cleared European regulators in March, contingent on largely the same divestitures: Dow’s EAA copolymers and ionomers, and a portion of DuPont’s pesticides business. The deal has also met with approval in other countries, including China and Brazil. www.dow.com