DuPont will spin off the company’s Performance Chemicals segment, including the Titanium Technologies and Chemicals and Fluoroproducts businesses.
DuPont operates a titanium dioxide plant in Edgemoor northeast of its headquarters in Wilmington.
The company has been under pressure from investors, including activist shareholder Nelson Peltz, who bought a stake in the company. The spin-off would leave DuPont with a faster growing group of businesses.
The deal would also reduce DuPont’s environmental exposure, a major issue at chemical companies.
The sale of the business was not believed to be an option, according to some analysts who believed the value of Performance Chemicals already built into its stock price. DuPont shares were up nearly 2 percent at $61.38. That is near a five-year high.
“Following a thorough strategic review process over the last year, the spin-off of Performance Chemicals is clearly the best option to deliver enhanced value for our shareholders. This separation will advance the transformation of DuPont and result in two strong, highly competitive companies,” said DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman.
Since 2010, DuPont has made a number of acquisitions and divestitures, the biggest being Danisco, a leading food and bioscience business, while selling its Performance Coatings (auto finishes) segment earlier this year.
Delaware is losing jobs more than 300 jobs, due to the spin-off, now named Axalta, which is moving administrative jobs to Philadelphia and neighboring Delaware.
Kullman said DuPont expects to enable both companies to pay dividends that in total equal DuPont’s dividend at the time of separation. The company anticipates fourth quarter separation costs of $.01-.02 per share, which were not included in its third quarter 2013 earnings news release.
The Performance Chemicals segment had about $7 billion in revenue in 2012.