For Dupont, Christmas In April

Early last fall, when Edgar Bronfman Jr. first called DuPont Co. CEO Edgar S. Woolard Jr. to propose selling most of Seagram Co.'s 24.2% stake back to the chemical giant, Woolard couldn't believe his ears. And no wonder: After a three-year slog, the tough shake-up Woolard had ordered at the chemical maker was finally paying off. With costs down, cash flow soaring, and record earnings on the way, it hardly seemed the moment to sell.

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