Dow decided a year ago that it could no longer go it alone. In late 2015, it agreed to acquire long-time rival DuPont in a deal that will create a $120 billion company. But the deal making won’t stop there–after the merger, it plans to break the newly formed company into three separate companies, one focused on the seed and agricultural businesses, another on materials, and a third on so-called specialty materials, such as DuPont’s protective Kevlar products. The eventual goal — and hope — is that the restructurings will create companies that are big enough to dominate their fields but also remain focused. But it’s a huge undertaking and all that corporate shuffling can create integration risk. Marrying two companies and then breaking them up is bound to cause some disruption in Dow and DuPont’s multiple businesses. And to top it off, the global economic slowdown is already causing some pain at both companies in advance of the merger.
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