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DuPont’s Water Unit Draws Interest From Potential Buyers

(Bloomberg) -- DuPont de Nemours Inc.’s water treatment business, which the US chemicals group is planning to spin out, is drawing separate takeover interest from potential industry buyers, people with knowledge of the matter said.

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Xylem Inc. and Veralto Corp. are among possible suitors that are in the early stages of evaluating the DuPont Water Solutions business, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information.

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DuPont said in May that it will separate its electronics and water units through tax-free transactions. The process is expected to be completed within two years and will create a trio of publicly traded businesses. DuPont’s water business may be valued at about $6 billion or more including debt in any sale, the people said.

Shares in DuPont rose as much as 3.1% on Monday. The stock was up 1.8% at 3:21 p.m. in New York, giving the company a market value of about $34 billion.

Deliberations are ongoing and there’s no certainty that US-based Xylem or Veralto will decide to pursue any offers for the DuPont asset, the people said. On an investor update call in May, DuPont’s Chairman Edward Breen confirmed the company was not running a formal M&A process for the water unit.

Representatives for DuPont, Veralto and Xylem declined to comment.

DuPont Water Solutions provides services to make water safe to drink and also works with companies across a range of sectors on making their water usage more efficient and sustainable. The business generated revenue of about $1.5 billion last year, according to DuPont’s annual report, which was broadly flat on 2022.

In choosing to split itself up, DuPont adds its name to a growing list of industrial conglomerates — including Johnson & Johnson and General Electric Co. — seeking to boost returns by breaking into smaller, more focused businesses. DuPont has already spun out major business lines since its merger with Dow Chemical about a decade ago.

--With assistance from Francois de Beaupuy.

(Adds DuPont shares in fourth pargraph.)

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