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DuPont to Cut 1,700 Delaware-Based Jobs Ahead of Dow Merger

DuPont Co. said it will cut about 28 percent of its workforce in its home state of Delaware in early 2016 as the chemical company proceeds with a merger with Dow Chemical Co.

“The effect in Delaware will be significant, reflecting the urgent need to restructure our cost base and, as part of that effort, reduce our corporate overhead costs so that we can remain competitive,” DuPont Chief Executive Officer Ed Breen said in a letter to employees. The cuts will affect 1,700 employees out of 6,100 in the state.

The job cuts announced Tuesday are part the plan to reduce the workforce of 63,000 by 10 percent and trim costs by $700 million, Dan Turner, a spokesman at the Wilmington, Delaware- based company, said in a telephone interview. That strategy was outlined on Dec. 11, the day that the companies disclosed the merger. Dow and DuPont, two historic giants of U.S. industry, will join as equals in an all-stock deal that’s the first step in an effort to create three new businesses.

The jobs cuts are “deeply disappointing, especially to the thousands of Delawareans who helped this company grow and succeed for generations,” Delaware Governor Jack Markell said in a statement. “For those affected by today’s announcement, they should know that the state will do all that it can in the coming months to assist them as they evaluate new opportunities.”

Holiday Cuts

DuPont’s Breen said the company was required to notify the state by Dec. 31 on the job cuts. “Given that we are in the middle of the holidays, we would have preferred to wait until individual notifications were complete before reporting the full local impact,” he said.

After the merger, the specialty products business will remain in Wilmington, Breen said. The new $130 billion DowDuPont plans to combine products from both companies in the areas of agriculture, commodity chemicals and specialty products to create the new businesses.

The state “will continue to urge DuPont and Dow to see the value of locating other businesses here in Delaware, where they have grown and succeeded in the past,” the governor said in his statement.

DuPont rose 1.8 percent to $67.69 at 1:30 p.m. in New York. On Dec. 9, the first trading day following reports that the merger was in the works, the shares reached $75.72. Dow, based in Midland, Michigan, rose 0.5 percent to $52.50. On Dec. 9, the stock reached $57.10.

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