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A Merger That Activist Investors Can Love

A Dow Chemical-DuPont matchup could finally quiet hedge funds.

The merger talks between Dow Chemical and DuPont leaked on Dec. 8, aren’t just about putting together a $120 billion deal, an industry record. It’s about more than possibly creating the world’s largest seed and pesticide company and the No. 2 chemical company, after Germany’s BASF. The merger also says a lot about the power of corporate activists and the growing pressure they and other investors are putting on corporations to streamline their businesses.