(Adds comments from Breen, context on merger and Trump
By Ross Kerber
BOSTON Dec 8 Dupont Chief Executive Ed
Breen said on Thursday the incoming administration of U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump is not likely to have an impact on
his company's planned merger with rival Dow Chemical.
While Trump was critical of other large mergers during the
campaign, Breen said many U.S. Justice Department officials
reviewing the merger are career employees.
"I don't think it has any impact. We're very far down the
road," Breen said in an interview after speaking to the Boston
College Chief Executives Club.
Executives and dealmakers are looking for signs of whether
the incoming Trump administration will take a traditional
Republican approach to major mergers and treat them with a
Trump alternatively could follow through on populist
statements he made during the campaign, such as a threat to
block AT&T Inc's planned purchase of Time Warner
Breen said he does not expect Trump's rhetoric would make
the president-elect's administration less likely to approve the
$130 billion Dow-DuPont merger agreement, reached a year ago.
Breen is scheduled to become CEO if the deal is approved by
regulators. European Union antitrust regulators said on Nov. 9
they had received key data from the companies and set a Feb. 28
deadline for a decision.
A concern is that the merger to create a giant in crop
protection and seeds could reduce competition in those areas, as
well as for certain chemicals and materials both companies
Asked about potential divestitures that might be required to
complete the merger, Breen said there would likely "be some
remedies on the agriculture side, and that's predominantly it."
He declined to name specific potential purchasers but said
"There are always buyers available for good assets."
In his remarks to the luncheon, Breen pointed to populist
developments worldwide, such as the Brexit vote and the recent
defeat of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in a referendum.
But Breen said the results are not likely to slow Europe's
economic growth rate and thus will have little business impact.
"It doesn't overly worry me... and I don't think it is
overly bothering the business community," he said.
(Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Chris Reese and Dan