DuPont may sell pigments business

14 August 2013

DuPont said it was looking to sell or spin off its performance chemicals unit to insulate itself from flagging sales of paint pigments that have weighed on its results, according to a recent report by Reuters. DuPont is looking to its food, energy and security businesses to lower reliance on the slow-growing industrial chemicals business.

"We have been carefully weighing the strong cash generation of our performance chemicals businesses against their cyclicality and lower growth profile,” DuPont Chief Executive Ellen Kullman said in a statement.

The company’s performance chemicals unit generated total sales of US$7.2bn in 2012 or 20% of total sales.

The company’s titanium dioxide paint business, part of the performance chemicals business, is the largest in the world and its sales are considered a barometer of broader economic health. DuPont said it may pursue a different strategic alternative for each business within the performance chemicals unit. The company also reported a 13% drop in net income to US$1.03bn or US$1.11/share, in Q2 and net sales fell 1% to US$9.8bn.

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