By DAVID GELLES
The industrial conglomerate DuPont is splitting in two.
DuPont produces products like solar panel components and Kevlar, and has a market value of nearly $57 billion. But in recent years, even as it increased its focus on higher-growth areas like agriculture and nutrition, a large portion of its revenue still came from the more volatile sale of conventional industrial products.
On Thursday, DuPont said it would spin off its performance chemicals segment into a new publicly traded company. The unit — which makes a pigment that turns paints, paper and plastics white, as well as refrigerants and polymers for cables — generated about $7 billion in revenue in 2012. But prices for its pigment products plunged in the second quarter, sending operating profits for the unit down 56 percent.
DuPont announced in July that it would explore “strategic alternatives” for the unit.
Soon after, the activist investor Nelson Peltz revealed that his fund, Trian Partners, had previously acquired a stake in DuPont. His holding of nearly six million shares was worth about $345 million at the time of the investment, but represented less than 1 percent of the company. Mr. Peltz was later reported to have increased his stake to 2.2 percent, owning more than 21 million shares, according to The Wall Street Journal…..