Speed Reads

Mergers and acquisitions

Dow Chemical and DuPont are reportedly in advanced merger talks

Century-old Dow Chemical Co. and 200-year-old DuPont Co. are nearly as American as apple pie — and combined they produce about 20 percent of the world's pesticides to keep those apples worm-free. Late Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Dow and DuPont are in advanced merger talks, citing "people familiar with the matter," and could announce a deal "in coming days." Each company is worth about $60 billion, and the deal is reportedly being pitched as a merger of equals.

The potential merger, long sought by Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, would apparently be followed by splitting the combined company in three, creating businesses focused on agricultural chemicals, materials and material sciences (including plastics), and specialty products. The merger would likely face antitrust scrutiny, but if sealed and approved, it would be one of the biggest in a banner year for mergers in the U.S. With $4.35 trillion worth of mergers and acquisitions this year, according to Dealogic, 2015 has eclipsed 2007 as the biggest year for deals.