DuPont and The Dow Chemical Co. said late Thursday they have reached a proposed agreement with the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice that will allow the companies to proceed with their proposed "merger of equals," the companies said in a statement. "With today's DOJ clearance, we have taken a significant step forward in bringing together these two iconic enterprises, and in the subsequent intended separation into three leading, independent innovation-based science companies that will generate significant benefits for all stakeholders," Dow Chairman and Chief Executive Andrew Liveris said in a statement. In connection with the agreement and commitments already made to get regulatory approval from the European Union, DuPont will divest certain parts of its crop-protection portfolio and Dow will divest a global polymers business. The proposed agreement with the DOJ, subject to court approval, does not require any additional divestitures, the companies said. With the agreement, no further U.S. approvals are required for the merger to close, they said. DuPont and Dow said they continue to expect to close the merger in August, with the intended spin-offs to occur within 18 months of closing. Shares of DuPont and Dow were flat in late trading, after ending the regular trading session down 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively.
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