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DuPont Cutting Conoco Lose to Shareholders

DuPont Cutting Conoco Lose to Shareholders

DuPont is planning a stock split-off to establish Conoco as a fully independent company. The split off would be achieved through an exchange offer providing DuPont stockholders the opportunity to exchange, on a tax-free basis, shares of DuPont common stock for shares of Conoco Class B common stock currently held by DuPont. The exchange offer is subject to approval by the SEC and acceptable market conditions. It is expected the exchange offer will be completed in the third quarter.

In May 1998, DuPont said it planned to sell its stake in Conoco (see Daily GPI May 13, 1998). DuPont said it would offer up to 20% of wholly owned Conoco's common stock to the public in an initial public offering (IPO). The IPO, one of the largest in history, was the first step in DuPont's planned total divestiture of Conoco.

"Conoco has been a strong contributor to DuPont's earnings and cash flow for nearly 17 years," said DuPont CEO Charles O. Holliday Jr. at the time. "However, we believe that value and growth can be enhanced for DuPont's materials and life sciences businesses and for Conoco by separating the two operations. We are building on our 10-year strategic direction, and intensifying our focus on life sciences, making it imperative that we rapidly accelerate our investment to capture market opportunity and increase shareholder value."

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