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Monday, January 10, 2011

DuPont bets on food, fuel with Danisco deal, (NYSE: DD), (DCO)

DuPont's (DD.N) $5.8 billion bid for Denmark's Danisco A/S (DCO.CO) marks a major bet by the U.S. chemicals company on the nascent biofuels market and the profitable food additive sector. The deal, which would be DuPont's biggest acquisition since 1999, is another step in its transformation from an industrial chemical maker to one that has diversified businesses ranging from bulletproof vests to solar panel films. DuPont and Danisco have a joint venture in cellulosic ethanol, a technology that involves turning agricultural waste, such as wood chips and switchgrass, into fuel. Some investors are nervous about this fledgling technology, which is propped up by a $1.01 per gallon U.S. tax credit and a mandate for gasoline producers to blend in a certain amount of ethanol.