NEW YORK — Further preparing itself for a buyout or initial public offering, DuPont Textiles & Interiors made several changes to its board and senior-level management Thursday, confirming reports in WWD this week.
This story first appeared in the May 2, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company is also continuing its push to buy the remaining shares of DuPont Canada, which will ultimately be folded into DTI as part of its spinoff.
Richard Goodmanson will now serve as chairman of the $6.3 billion DTI and be joined on the board by DuPont chairman and chief executive officer Charles Holliday and DuPont chief financial officer Gary Pfeiffer. Goodmanson is executive vice president and chief operating officer of DuPont.
“The DTI separation work continues to proceed according to plan,” Goodmanson said. “The formation of a DTI board of directors is confirmation of our progress in ensuring DTI’s long-term success.”
In addition, 28-year DuPont veteran Steve McCracken was named president. He was formerly group vice president of DTI. All members of DTI’s management team will report to McCracken. The moves come a day after DuPont’s annual meeting at its headquarters in Wilmington, Del.
The company also said George MacCormack will fill the role of group vice president, strategic projects for DuPont. He was formerly the group vice president for DTI’s intermediates business.
Market sources have said DuPont is in discussions with Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries to buy DTI. A company spokeswoman confirmed DuPont is speaking to a third party, but would not disclose any details.
“DuPont has a responsibility to its shareholders, so it will consider other opportunities [besides an IPO] and they have recently announced they are in discussions with a third party,” the spokeswoman said.
On April 17, DuPont notified DuPont Canada shareholders of its plan to buy the remaining 24 percent it does not own at $14.78 per share (figure translated from the Canadian dollar at current exchange rates).
According to sources, since DTI represents a substantial portion of DuPont Canada’s business, this is one of the last steps DuPont must complete before selling or spinning off its fibers business.
“Even though we’re the intended owner of that business,” said a DTI spokeswoman, “it’s a DuPont issue for now, since they are the owner of DuPont Canada. When they finalize a deal, it will be transferred to DTI, then separated along with DTI from DuPont.”
In a potential holdup, a class-action lawsuit was filed April 25 in an Elkton, Md., State Circuit Court by a minority individual stockholder regarding the stock’s sale price.
DuPont’s vice president and treasurer John Jessup rebutted the claim, saying the price is fair.
“This claim is without merit,” said Jessup, “and is an example of the opportunistic lawsuits common in the United States in public bids.”