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DuPont to fund pension contributions with $2 billion bond issue


E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington, Del., has offered $2 billion in new bonds, the net proceeds of which will be used for discretionary contributions to its U.S. defined benefit plan, the company announced in SEC filings last week.

The company had originally said in its latest 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 2 that it expected to contribute $230 million to its U.S. defined benefit plan in 2017. DuPont had contributed $230 million to the pension plan in 2016.

The company still anticipates making $230 million in contributions to the U.S. plan this year, it said in a statement emailed by spokesman Daniel A. Turner. “We are also evaluating potential, additional discretionary contributions to the U.S. pension plan that could result in a significant reduction to the plans underfunded benefit obligation. Any additional contribution above the $230 million depends on various factors including market conditions, access to capital markets and tax deductible limits. We will make a public disclosure of the contribution amount after we make the contribution,” the statement said.

DuPont had announced in November it will freeze the plan effective Nov. 30, 2018. The plan was closed to new employees in January 2007.

As of Dec. 31, the company’s global pension plan assets totaled $16.6 billion, while projected benefit obligations totaled $24.3 billion, for a funding ratio of 68.3%, according to the 10-K filing. The filing did not break out U.S. and non-U.S. assets.

Daniel A. Turner, DuPont spokesman, could not be immediately reached to provide further information.