Food ingredients group Danisco has agreed to a US$5.8bn takeover bid from US chemicals group DuPont.

The deal, announced yesterday (9 January) by DuPont, was confirmed this morning in a short statement from Danisco.

The Denmark-based company said DuPont had agreed to pay DKK665 (US$115.07) a share – an offer Danisco’s board plans to support.

DuPont, which makes products for sectors from construction to electronics, said the transaction would make it “a clear leader in industrial biotechnology with science-intensive innovations that address global challenges in food production and reduced fossil fuel consumption”.

The two companies already work together on “cellulosic ethanol technology” – biofuel created from non-food crops. DuPont chair and CEO Ellen Kullman said Danisco would have “clear synergies” with DuPont’s nutrition, health and applied biosciences divisions.

“Danisco is a premier company, a long-time successful partner of DuPont and a proven innovator committed to sustainable growth,” Kullman said.

“This transaction is a perfect strategic fit with our growth opportunities and will help us solve global challenges presented by dramatic population growth in the decades to come, specifically related to food and energy,” Kullman said.

“Biotechnology and specialty food ingredients have the potential to change the landscape of industries, such as substituting renewable materials for fossil fuel processes and addressing food needs in developing economies, that will generate more sustainable solutions and create growth for the company.”

Shares in Danisco had jumped 26.2% to DKK669 at 09:29 CET this morning.