DuPont will discuss its financial performance during its Q4 Quarterly Earnings Call on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 (listeners can access the call by visiting investors.dupont.com). The Q4 call presents an important opportunity to question DuPont’s executive leadership on pressing issues for the company, including the continued decline of Chemours that would lead to billions of dollars in liabilities for which DuPont is responsible as well as potentially costly litigation from shareholders. Lastly, as the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and other regulatory organizations in the United States and abroad make clear, the proposed merger with Dow will face substantive legal and regulatory challenges.
“Since the day the Chemours spinoff was announced, Keep Your Promises has criticized DuPont’s transfer of billions of dollars’ worth of liabilities related to C-8, Benzene, and 171 remediation sites to this undercapitalized and underperforming company,” stated Keep Your Promises advisor Harold Bock. “We drew comparisons to the Tronox-Kerr McGee fiasco, and we can see now with the decline of Chemours’ core businesses and the growing liabilities it faces that a similar result is possible with this spinoff.”
In an investor briefing on June 9, 2015, Keep Your Promises predicted the decline of Chemours’ business and the likelihood that the company would be unable to pay its liabilities. Since opening at $20.85/share, Chemours’ share price has declined over 80% to under $4.00/share.
“It is shocking to us that stakeholders would trust CEO Breen’s leadership in the proposed Dow merger, especially in light of the disastrous Chemours spinoff,” continued Bock. “This reckless action endangers all stakeholders, including the thousands of folks in my community who have been harmed by DuPont. Stakeholders for Dow and DuPont should take a close second look at the proposed merger and demand significantly more transparency, in particular as it relates to DuPont’s unspecified contingent liabilities, from CEO Ed Breen before it is too late.”
Keep Your Promises recently sent letters to the CEO and the directors of DuPont, Chemours, and Dow demanding assurance that the post-merger entity will accrue properly for these liabilities and provide transparency to stakeholders. Additionally, Dow stakeholders should be wary of DuPont’s attempt to shift to them financial responsibility for these potentially massive liabilities, as occurred in 2015 with the Chemours spinoff.
“The Dow-DuPont merger will make a couple of CEOs, investment bankers, and lawyers billions of dollars while eviscerating current and former workers for these companies, decimating the communities in which they operate, and leaving millions of people harmed by C-8 and other environmental disasters holding the bag,” stated Bock. “This merger is just DuPont’s latest ploy to back out of its promises to mid-Ohio Valley communities, and we are determined to ensure that the victims are not lost in the shuffle.”