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May 7, 2015, 9:57 PM
- California pension giant Calpers has cast its shares in favor of DuPont (NYSE:DD) in the company's proxy fight with Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund, voting its 6.15M shares in favor of the company's slate.
- Calpers on its website cites the performance of DuPont's stock and concerns about Trian's "relatively short term" interest in the company, and praised DuPont for steps it has taken to cut costs and spin off its large performance chemicals business.
- On its side, Trian has Calstrs, the other large California pension operator, pushing DuPont alongside the activist fund.
May 4, 2015, 6:35 PM
- Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) fell 7.6% in today's trade, giving up some but not all of its 16% gain on Friday that was sparked by talk that Monsanto (NYSE:MON) had approached the company about a takeover.
- The biggest concern for regulatory approval may involve what would be an unprecedented market share in soybeans and corn seeds for the combined company, and analysts say SYT’s operations in those areas would appeal to a range of buyers including Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), DuPont (NYSE:DD), BASF (OTCQX:BASFY, OTCPK:BFFAF) and Bayer (OTCPK:BAYZF, OTCPK:BAYRY).
- Colin Isaac of Atlantic Equities says the deal he always expected to happen is a DuPont purchase of Dow's agriculture unit; CEO Andrew Liveris has suggested Dow is open to divesting the unit, and MON's becoming a much stronger competitor after an SYT takeover could be a catalyst for Dow to more seriously consider exiting the business, which Issac says would be prime pickings for DuPont and its Pioneer seed business.
- A $19.5B bid by DuPont for Dow’s ag sciences business could generate a 7% return on invested capital, according to a report by Laurence Alexander at Jefferies, while adding that such a move is less likely until agricultural markets improve from current trough levels.
Apr. 30, 2015, 3:44 PM
- DuPont (DD -1.5%) settles a long-running trade secrets case against South Korea-based Kolon Industries involving fiber used to make Kevlar bulletproof vests, with the South Korean company agreeing to pay DuPont $275M in restitution.
- The amount is far smaller than the $920M in damages that a U.S. District Court awarded DD in 2011 before a federal appeals court overturned the ruling in 2014.
- DuPont had accused Kolon of the theft of 149 of its trade secrets relating to the Kevlar fiber used to make body armor, fiber-optic cables and tires.
- Kolon also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to convert trade secrets and will pay an $85M penalty.
Apr. 30, 2015, 10:59 AM
- DuPont (DD -0.4%) criticizes Glass Lewis for backing Nelson Peltz's demand for a board seat, saying the proxy advisory firm had reached the "wrong conclusion" in failing to recommend a vote for all 12 of the company's nominees.
- The proxy advisory firm late yesterday said shareholders should elect the head of Trian Fund to DuPont’s board in May, and that the activist investor had "identified legitimate concerns at DuPont, primarily related to operational execution and management accountability."
- However, it agreed with DuPont's rejection of Trian's break-up plan, and praised DuPont management for creating strong shareholder returns and for the steps it has taken to transform the business.
- Glass Lewis' statement comes after proxy firm ISS also recommended DuPont board seats for Peltz and and fellow Trian nominee John Myers.
Apr. 28, 2015, 1:58 AM
- DuPont's (NYSE:DD) "doors are not barred for something reasonable," Reuters reports, saying the chemical conglomerate's board is open to a negotiated settlement with activist Trian Fund Management.
- Yesterday, proxy advisory firm ISS recommended Trian's co-founder Nelson Peltz for a spot on DuPont's board, dealing a severe blow to the company ahead of a shareholder vote on May 13.
- Trian, DuPont's fifth-largest shareholder, has long-argued that the conglomerate should split itself up to unlock better value for shareholders.
Apr. 27, 2015, 10:45 AM
- Shareholder proxy firm ISS recommends activist investor Nelson Peltz for a spot on DuPont's (DD +3.1%) board, plus one other nominee put forward by Peltz's Trian Fund Management.
- "This is not a broken company - but there is compelling evidence that the dissidents are onto something in their critique," ISS says following last week's release of disappointing Q1 results.
- DuPont and Trian have tried to make offers to settle the increasingly bitter proxy fight over the company's future, but both sides have been steadfast on whether Peltz deserves a seat on the board.
Apr. 22, 2015, 2:25 PM
- DuPont (DD +0.9%) agrees to acquire a microbiome discovery company Taxon Biosciences in a move it hopes will give it an edge in an emerging agricultural market for biological crop products.
- DuPont does not say how much it is paying but says the California-based company brings a "broad intellectual property estate" that will contribute to new DuPont seed treatments, and foliar and soil applications for row crops, fruits and vegetables.
- DuPont executive VP Jim Borel tells Reuters he expects new products in the company's biologicals pipeline to start hitting the market within about five years, adding that the biologicals market is growing rapidly "and it's an area where science can make a real difference."
Apr. 21, 2015, 3:13 PM
- DuPont's (DD -2.7%) disappointing Q1 revenue and reduced 2015 earnings outlook is expected to provide fresh ammunition to Nelson Peltz in his campaign to split up the company.
- Peltz's Trian Fund will point to the lower outlook - DuPont now sees FY 2015 EPS at the low end of $4.00-$4.20 vs. $4.06 analyst consensus estimate - as further evidence that the company fails to meet its financial targets, SunTrust's James Sheehan says, adding that the profit warning would "likely intensify the debate."
- DuPont, which gets ~60% of its sales from outside the U.S., blames a stronger dollar for the 9% drop in Q1 sales and reduced profit outlook, but says cost-cutting efforts are helping the bottom-line.
- Leading shareholder proxy firm ISS is meeting with Peltz and DuPont on Wednesday and is expected to make its recommendation by the end of the month; the battle will come to a head on May 13, when DuPont holds its annual shareholder meeting.
Apr. 21, 2015, 7:25 AM
- Net income of $1.03B vs. $1.44B in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding pension costs and other items, operating earnings were $1.34 a share, down from $1.58 per share, the prior year.
- Cost reductions increased earnings by $0.10 per share, however, helping to make up for a 10% sales drop at DuPont's (NYSE:DD) agriculture unit, the company's largest business.
- Net sales fell 9% to $9.17B, primarily due to a decline in volumes and negative currency impacts.
- DuPont says it's now on track to spin off its performance chemicals unit the middle of this year and expects to report full-year operating earnings at the low end of its $4.00-$4.20 per share range (below analyst projections of $4.46).
- The results also come just weeks ahead of a shareholder vote on adding nominees from Trian Fund Management, headed by Nelson Peltz, who has argued the company's share value could effectively double if it split itself into three.
- DD -1.6% premarket
- Q1 results
Apr. 21, 2015, 6:14 AM
- E. I. du Pont de Nemours (NYSE:DD): Q1 EPS of $1.34 beats by $0.02.
- Revenue of $9.17B (-9.5% Y/Y) misses by $250M.
Apr. 21, 2015, 6:07 AM
- E. I. du Pont de Nemours (NYSE:DD) declares $0.49/share quarterly dividend, 4.3% increase from prior dividend of $0.47.
- Forward yield 2.69%
- Payable June 12; for shareholders of record May 15; ex-div May 13.
Apr. 20, 2015, 5:30 PM
Apr. 6, 2015, 10:38 AM
- DuPont (DD +0.4%) reiterates via a new investor presentation that it opposes efforts by Trian Fund Management to replace four directors, calling the activist investment firm "value destructive."
- DuPont last month offered to add John Myers, a Trian nominee and former CEO of GE Asset Management, to the board as part of a “constructive resolution,” but DuPont now appears to remove that offer, saying Trian’s efforts to replace board members are “not in the best interests of shareholders."
Mar. 30, 2015, 8:25 AM
- DuPont (NYSE:DD) has approved changes to the corporate governance structure at The Chemours Company, which remains on on track to spinoff in mid-2015.
- Chemours’ classified board structure will be submitted to a shareholder vote at its first Annual Meeting in 2016. If the classified structure is not approved by shareholders at the meeting, the unit will immediately declassify its Board such that all directors would be up for annual election beginning with the 2017 Annual Meeting.
- The ownership threshold for shareholders to call special meetings has also been lowered to 25%.
Mar. 30, 2015, 1:51 AM
- Although it has not revealed what compromise it is seeking, Fidelity Investments, DuPont's (NYSE:DD) sixth largest shareholder, has put pressure on activist Trian Fund Management and the chemical conglomerate to reach a settlement over their "detrimental" proxy fight.
- Trian, which owns a 2.7% stake in DuPont, is pushing for the appointment of four of its own directors, including Nelson Peltz, at the company's annual shareholder meeting on May 13.
- Previously: DuPont board battle heats up (Mar. 23 2015)
Mar. 23, 2015, 12:35 PM
- Origin Agritech (SEED +24.5%) soars in a move attributed to a WSJ article discussing China's desire to develop a local seed company, potentially through a renewed bid for SEED, which controls the rights to China's first genetically modified corn.
- SEED last year rejected a $60B takeover bid from China's state-backed Hunan Xindaxin but its top executives believe another attempt is coming, as China looks to find a way to can keep foreign giants such as Monsanto (NYSE:MON), DuPont (NYSE:DD) and Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) at bay while significantly increasing the country’s spending on R&D.
- China is the world’s second largest seed market but limits foreign producers to minority stakes in joint ventures, and its domestic seed makers are too small and scattered for the government to corral in pursuit of controlling the biotechnology that underpins the competitive power of global seed manufacturers.
E I du Pont de Nemours & Company is a science and technology based company. It offers products and patents applications for agriculture, nutrition, electronics and communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and others.
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