DowDuPont has decided to alter its original plan to break into three independent companies, following the merger of the two parent firms. The newly conjoined company said its board of directors and management, with the assistance of independent advisors, completed a comprehensive review of the portfolio composition of the intended companies: Agriculture, Materials Science and Specialty Products. Various media outlets have said the decision follows moves by activist investor groups that felt the original plan did not deliver enough value. Reuters cited Nelson Peltz’s Trian Partners and Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC as groups that had raised objections to the original concept. The board concluded, according to a press release, “that, in light of knowledge gained since the announcement of the transaction, certain targeted adjustments will be made between the Materials Science and Specialty Products divisions, which will enhance the competitive advantages of the intended resulting companies. The changes better align these businesses with the end-markets they serve, ensuring clear focus, market visibility, targeted innovation and stronger growth profiles, and better equip each to compete successfully as industry leaders.” The board approved the changes based on “a thorough review led by lead independent directors, which included recommendations provided by McKinsey & Company; a comprehensive business and operational analysis leveraging knowledge gained over the past 20 months of pre-merger planning; and input from a wide range of stakeholders, including both investors and financial advisors.” DowDuPont now says that, among other sectors, it will realign Dow’s Building Solutions business, its Microbial Control business and DuPont’s Performance Polymers business to the Specialty Products Division from the Materials Science Division: DowDuPont said that on a forecasted 2017 basis, the businesses that will be realigned to the Specialty Products Division account for a total net sales of more than $8-billion and operating EBITDA of approximately $2.4-billion (including roughly 40 percent of the heritage Dow “These adjustments are also fully supported by the Materials Science Advisory Committee, as they better align select businesses with the market verticals they serve, while maintaining integration and innovation strengths within strategic value chains,” said Andre Liveris, executive chairman of DowDuPont. “As a result, both our Materials Science and Specialty Products divisions will be well-positioned to better anticipate and meet customer needs through focused innovation and technology development that will deliver accelerated growth from a broader suite of best-in-class products.” DowDuPont said it still plans to achieve run-rate cost synergies of approximately $3-billion and approximately $1-billion in growth synergies. www.dowdupont.com