By Scott Malone
NEW YORK — Invista’s 18,000 employees have three more weeks to figure out what to do with their DuPont business cards and stationery.
The Wilmington, Del.-based chemical giant, which is selling its Invista fibers unit to Koch Industries Inc., said Thursday it had agreed to cut the purchase price on the deal by $200 million and that the sale would close April 30.
A spokeswoman for Wichita, Kan.-based Koch confirmed the revision in the purchase price to $4.2 billion and the new closing date. Recently, the companies had said the deal would close by June 30.
The $4.2 billion includes the assumption of some debt, as well as joint-venture and equity interests.
A DuPont spokesman said a lot of variables went into the decision to revalue the unit, which last year had $6.9 billion in sales and recorded an after-tax operating loss of $1.34 billion — a number that included $1.37 billion in writeoffs related to the pending sale.
“It was an extremely complex agreement that involved not only the sale of the assets, but we had to develop site-sharing agreements, suppliers’ contracts and a number of other things,” the spokesman said. “At the end of the day, this suits the interests of both parties.”
The Koch spokeswoman said the earlier closing date was not a concession offered for the lower price.
“We have for a few weeks been internally citing April 30 as a working date,” she said. “It just looks like the critical mass is enough achieved that we can tick off all the right buttons by then.”
The companies have already received approval from antitrust review bodies in the U.S. and European Union for the merger.
Koch plans to merge Invista with its KoSa polyester fibers unit after the deal closes. According to Moody’s Investors Service, together the two operations had $8.4 billion in revenues last year, an amount that would make the combined business the world’s largest fiber enterprise.
Invista’s apparel operations are to remain in the general Wilmington area after the deal closes, though executives said they may move to nearby locations in southern New Jersey or eastern Pennsylvania. Bill Ghitis is to continue as president of Invista apparel fibers.