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Bowing to Wall Street, DuPont to spin off titanium dioxide unit

(Reuters) - DuPont said on Thursday it will spin off its titanium dioxide unit and related businesses into a separately traded public company within 18 months.

The move to separate the Performance Chemicals business, which had been aggressively sought by Wall Street, will allow DuPont to better focus on specialty materials and agriculture, two growth areas.

DuPont said its existing shareholders will own 100 percent of the business after the spinoff. The spinoff will likely dent fourth-quarter earnings by a penny to 2 cents per share.

Shares of DuPont rose 3.9 percent to $63.76 in after-hours trading.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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