ST. LOUIS — Monsanto Co. is taking steps to restructure its stock in anticipation of the Sept. 1 spinoff of the St. Louis firm's chemicals business.
Monsanto's board of directors declared Aug. 12 a dividend of one share of common stock in the new company for each five shares of Monsanto stock held as of Aug. 20. The dividend is subject to share owner approval of the spinoff at a special Aug. 18 meeting.
The as-yet-unnamed chemical firm will supply such products as nylon resins, acrylic fibers for carpets and upholstery, and plastic interlayer for automotive and architectural glass. Monsanto produces about 140 million pounds of nylon resins and about 300 million pounds of nylon fibers a year.
Monsanto's chemical units posted sales of almost $3 billion in 1996. The company's overall sales totaled almost $9.3 billion.
The remaining portion of Monsanto will supply products to agricultural, food and health-care markets.
The spinoff will cost the company 1,500-2,500 jobs, or 5-9 percent of its global work force.
Late last year Monsanto officials said the company was considering several options, including the sale of its chemical businesses as a single unit or in pieces. A company spokesperson said last week the spinoff option was selected because it provides the best value to shareholders.
Robert Potter, Monsanto executive vice president, will be chairman and chief executive officer of the new chemical company, which also will be headquartered in St. Louis.