DuPont mulls sale of performance chemicals unit

DuPont is considering "strategic alternatives" for its performance chemicals segment, the US-based company said Tuesday.

In a conference call on second-quarter earnings, DuPont said alternatives for the business could include a full or partial separation from the company through a spin-off, sale or other transaction.

DuPont's performance chemicals business includes titanium dioxide (TiO2), fluorochemicals, and specialty and industrial chemicals. In Tuesday's earnings release, DuPont reported a 12% year-on-year decline in second-quarter net income, mainly due to lower TiO2 prices.

The performance chemicals segment posted 2012 sales of $7.2 billion, comprising about 20% of the company's total net sales. 

"We have been carefully weighing the strong cash generation of our performance chemicals businesses against their cyclicality and lower growth profile, as well as where the power of DuPont's science can be differentiated," said DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman.

"We are evaluating options for performance chemicals as part of our ongoing plan to deliver higher growth and greater value creation for our shareholders," she added.

DuPont also announced that it would realign its leadership team "to accelerate its integrated science execution. Details of those changes can be read at DuPont's website.

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