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DuPont spinning off Performance Chemicals unit

Ellen Kullman is chairman and CEO of DuPont, which is spin off its Performance Chemicals business.

DuPont Co. says it will spin off its Performance Chemicals unit to shareholders.

The company has said previously that it was looking at options for the unit. Performance Chemicals is one of DuPont’s largest businesses by revenue, but it has been struggling because of falling prices for titanium dioxide, a key industrial pigment.

It says it expects the spinoff to its shareholders to happen in about a year and a half.

The company says the spinoff will give it more reliable earnings growth.

When DuPont reported earnings on Tuesday it said that Performance Chemicals sales have fallen 9 percent so far this year. Pre-tax operating income in that unit is less than half of what it was at this time last year.

Its shares rose $1.62 to $63 in after-hours trading.

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