DuPont has announced that it has agreed to merge with US firm International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) – with Kerry Group, which had been tipped to purchase DuPont’s $26.2 billion nutrition division, losing out on the eleventh hour.

DuPont and IFF announced yesterday, Sunday, December 15, that they have entered into a definitive agreement for the merger of IFF and DuPont’s Nutrition and Biosciences business in a Reverse Morris Trust transaction.

According to DuPont the deal values the combined company at $45.4 billion on an enterprise value basis, reflecting a value of $26.2 billion for the Nutrition and Biosciences business based on IFF’s share price as of December 13, 2019.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by both boards of directors, DuPont shareholders will own 55.4% of the shares of the new company and existing IFF shareholders will own 44.6%.

Upon completion of the transaction, DuPont will receive a one-time $7.3 billion special cash payment, subject to certain adjustments.

According to RTÉ reports, both IFF and Kerry Group had been negotiating with DuPont, with the former only emerging last week as a contender in the negotiations.

The new company will be “ideally equipped to deliver in-demand differentiated solutions for more natural, healthy products to an expanded customer base spanning both large multinationals and fast-growing small and medium-sized customers”, according to DuPont.