DuPont establishes Textiles & Interiors subsidiary; subsequent spin off 'likely'

In a possible prelude to an initial public offering, DuPont has packaged its fibers business into the new wholly owned DuPont Textiles & Interiors (DTI) subsidiary. As a stand-alone business, the new unit is the largest integrated textile fiber and interiors company in the world, with approximate annual revenue of $6.5 billion.

The residential, commercial, transportation and rug segments of DuPont Flooring - including its Stainmaster and Antron brands - have been placed under the DTI umbrella. The rationale behind DTI's creation was to drive efficiencies and seize business opportunities, said Alan Wolk, vice president and general manager of DuPont Flooring Worldwide.

As part of the mammoth DuPont organization, the businesses encompassed by DTI could not focus on their core markets in an optimal fashion, he added. DTI was packaged to create the "critical mass" necessary to make a major impact on the flooring and textile markets. "We're going to be the 800-lb. gorilla in our industry," Wolk said.

DuPont also announced that it has engaged investment bank Morgan Stanley to explore a full range of strategic options for the new subsidiary, including an initial public offering, with the ultimate intent of separation from the parent company no later than year-end 2003 if market conditions permit. Though DuPont is considering various options to spin off DTI, an IPO remains the most "likely candidate," Wolk said, adding that such action would require 18 to 20 months to complete.