Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2001 (Revised July 2005)

E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company: The Conoco Split-off (A)

by Stuart C. Gilson and Perry Fagan


After taking 30% of its Conoco oil and gas subsidiary public in the largest domestic initial public offering (IPO) in U.S. history, management of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DuPont) is considering divesting its remaining interest in Conoco. This goal is to be accomplished through a relatively uncommon transaction called a corporate "split-off," under which DuPont's shareholders will be given the option to exchange their shares in DuPont for shares in Conoco (but, in contrast to a more conventional "spin-off," they are not obligated to exchange their shares). Management's objective in restructuring is to move DuPont away from its traditional energy and chemical business toward the life sciences (agriculture, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals).

Keywords: Business Conglomerates; Business Subsidiaries; Restructuring; Non-Renewable Energy; Chemicals; Assets; Initial Public Offering; Business and Shareholder Relations; Diversification; Value; Chemical Industry; United States;


Gilson, Stuart C., and Perry Fagan. "E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company: The Conoco Split-off (A)." Harvard Business School Case 202-005, December 2001. (Revised July 2005.)