US giant DuPont is buying Danish enzyme specialist Danisco for $5.8 billion as it looks to broaden its food and biofuels operations. The acquisition also includes the assumption of $500 million in debt.
Danisco, which is already a joint venture partner with DuPont in the development of cellulosic ethanol technology, said Monday that it will recommend shareholders accept the deal. Its stock jumped 25% in Copenhagen trading to 662 kroner ($114.71).
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., founded in 1802, has long been known for its chemicals business. But the Wilmington, Delaware, company has been trying to expand its operations.
DuPont has been helped by growth in demand for its products used in agriculture, and by the improving global economy, particularly in Asia. DuPont makes chemicals used in farming, electronics, autos and other industries.
Danisco, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, makes enzyme and specialty food ingredients. Its ingredients are used in a wide range of industries from bakery, dairy and beverages to animal feed, laundry detergents and bioethanol. The company has nearly 7,000 employees.
Danisco Chairman Jörgen Tandrup said Monday that there were several bidders for the company, with DuPont coming out ahead late last (Sunday) night. He doesn’t expect any problems in getting the deal approved by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.
Tandrup believes DuPont is interested in all of Danisco’s operations, but analysts think it only was interested in the enzyme business and got the ingredients as an extra.