The July-August 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review provides interesting details of DuPont’s Danisco acquisition, described by Chair & CEO Ellen Kullman. Her article titled, “How We Did It… DuPont’s CEO on Executing a Complex Cross-Border Acquisition,” lays out the challenges and opportunities, as well as the lessons learned, during the several months DuPont leaders worked on the acquisition.
“In the fall of 2010 many companies might have put M&A far lower on the priority list, as we all navigated the economic recession,” Ellen wrote. “Fortunately, DuPont had emerged from the downturn with a strong balance sheet, and thanks to the prep work we’d done on Danisco through the years, we were ready to value the company.”
The article starts with Ellen receiving a call from Danisco CEO Tom Knutzen two days before Thanksgiving 2010, asking if DuPont was interested in buying the company. Ellen then details the events that unfolded over the next several months, also providing background on “The Evolution of a Science Company,” along with a picture of the company’s changing portfolio.
“The deal process was long, complicated, and frustrating at times,” she said. “But the people of DuPont powered through it because we knew this acquisition would enhance our biosciences capability and accelerate the company’s readiness for its next 100 years of growth. The right strategic acquisition, at the right price, is worth the wait.”