Analysis: DuPont exits Rogers merger after delays by Chinese regulators

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One of two DuPont buildings at Chestnut Run earning LEED Gold status
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DuPont dropped a previously announced agreement to acquire the outstanding shares of Rogers Corporation, as the companies have been unable to obtain timely clearance from all the required regulators.

DuPont is paying Rogers a termination fee of $162.5 million in accordance with the agreement.

“Rogers is currently evaluating all options to determine the best path forward in response to DuPont’s notice. 

“Rogers remains an exceptional company, and the team continues to execute on our successful growth strategy,” the company stated. “Our strong competitive position innovating across fast-growing markets, including EV/HEV, is underscored by continuing design wins, broad customer enthusiasm and a robust pipeline of opportunities.”

Wall Street seemed to like the news when it came to DuPont, perhaps because the Delaware company was paying a hefty $5 billion-plus for Rogers. Shares of DuPont were up nearly 4%. The story was different at Rogers, with its share price plunging by more than 40%.

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Chinese regulators had delayed approval of the deal in what may be a signed of strained relations between the two nations.j

The failure to complete the merger marks a setback for DuPont CEO Ed Breen, who has been steadily selling off business in positioning the company as a materials supplier. One of his goals was to build a bigger presence in the electronics materials business through the purchase of Rogers, which has production sites in northern Delaware.

DuPont is now a fraction of its former size and if Breen’s past actions as a CEO are any indication, other pieces of the company could be sold off. Such was the case with Tyco, a collection of businesses that no longer exist.

Breen, in past statements, has indicated that he sees DuPont as a strong company.

Breen was called out of retirement to become DuPont CEO, after the ouster of company veteran Ellen Kullman. He engineered a merger and spin-off with chemical giant Dow with the goal of combining the agriscience segments of both companies, now known as Corteva.

He stepped down as CEO but was brought back after earnings disappointments.

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