Indy Workers Could Be Part Of World's Biggest Agribusiness

Jul 12, 2016

Credit Dow AgroSciences / Glassdoor

Fifteen-hundred workers in Indianapolis could know by the end of the month if they're likely to become part of the biggest agribusiness in the world.

 

The Dow AgroSciences employees are awaiting regulatory approval for their parent company's plan to merge with DuPont, then split into three parts, including one for agriculture.

 

If the $130 billion deal goes through, the ag division's corporate HQ and corporate workers would move to Wilmington, Del.

Others would stay in the Midwest -- including those at DuPont Pioneer in Iowa, thanks to an incentive deal with the state.

 

But there's no such guarantee for the workers in Indianapolis yet -- and Dow and DuPont have both announced big layoffs in other sectors ahead of the merger.

 

Still, Indiana Chamber of Commerce CEO Kevin Brinegar says he isn't too worried.

"What we've ended up with, here in Indiana, is probably the best possible outcome in terms of what was realistic," he says.

And he says the merger would be good for the agriculture industry, creating the world's largest seed and pesticide vendor – bigger than current leaders Syngenta and Monsanto in St. Louis.

Brinegar says this is representative of agriculture's trend toward consolidation, and it could boost productivity.

 

"I think in many instances, particularly when you talk about the research, the economy of scale that comes with a larger company can be a real positive," he says.

 

Others worry the merger would hurt independent producers. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote a letter to that effect to federal government -- the Justice Department and European anti-trust regulators are considering the $130 billion deal this month.

 

With their approval, Dow and DuPont shareholders could vote on the merger in October.