12 "Synergies" Too Many in DuPont-Dow Announcement

The DuPont-Dow merger is big news with a big press release and two extremely long quotations. The statement uses "synergies" or "synergistic" 12 times. 

PR Daily criticizes the release as "jargon laden" and presents as evidence this 140-word (not character) statement from the chairman and CEO of Dupont: 

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to deliver long-term, sustainable shareholder value through the combination of two highly complementary global leaders and the creation of three strong, focused, industry-leading businesses. Each of these businesses will be able to allocate capital more effectively, apply its powerful innovation more productively, and extend its value-added products and solutions to more customers worldwide," said Edward D. Breen, chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont. "For DuPont, this is a definitive leap forward on our path to higher growth and higher value. This merger of equals will create significant near-term value through substantial cost synergies and additional upside from growth synergies. Longer term, the three-way split we intend to pursue is expected to unlock even greater value for shareholders and customers and more opportunity for employees as each business will be a leader in attractive segments where global challenges are driving demand for these businesses' distinctive offerings."

A close second, Dow's leader offered his own 111-word statement, which I'll refrain from pasting here. (You get the point from the first one.) 

The press release follows the format of other, newer versions, which provide a bulleted list of main points up front for busy journalists. The headings also work well for skim-value. 

DuPont Dow

Of course, the bigger issue may be the business decision itself. Steven Davidoff Solomon, professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, questions a merger with a planned spinoff. He cites lots of research to tell us that spinoffs don't work in the long-run. 

Discussion Starters: 

  • How could you simplify the press release? Try to omit all 12 instances of synergy/synergistic.
  • An argument can be made that this is intended for a more technical audience of investors who expect jargon. What do you think?