Monday, 31 January 2011

DuPont's Kullman talks biotech at Davos

With DuPont in the throes of acquiring Danish biotechnology concern Danisco in its first big ($6.3bn) M&A deal for many years (in fact since it bought the Pioneer seeds business for $7.7bn in 1999), it was no surprise to see it promoting white (industrial) biotech at the just-ended Davos World Economic Forum. DuPont chairman and CEO Ellen Kullman told attendees that bio-based technologies can expand economic opportunities in rural areas while reducing the burden on the environment.

Ellen Kullman - raising
DuPont's biotech game
“Bio-based technologies are an evolution, not a revolution,” Ellen said. “Modern uses of biotechnology, including industrial biotechnology, are just starting and there are vast opportunities to use these tools in new and valuable ways.”

Kullman was serving as a WEF annual meeting co-chair and participated in a forum panel on delivering bio-driven development”. This discussed how bio-based technologies can change the future of development in rural areas.

DuPont is staking a lot on the Danisco purchase but is following the strategy of addressing mega-trends on which this blog has already shed some light. Acquisition is one way to accelerate the move into new technology areas for DuPont. But as with all M&A deals, post-merger delivery is the critical step.

But as Nigel Davis, Insight editor at ICIS, commented recently: "The bid, welcomed as a good fit  and a good price  by Danisco management, puts DuPont in an extremely strong position as it strives to develop the enzymes that will create second-generation biofuels as well as other bio-based products."

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