ChemChina is reportedly set to secure conditional EU antitrust approval for its $43 billion bid for Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta in what would be the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company. David Pollard reports.
China could be a step closer to its biggest ever foreign acquisition. People close to the deal saying ChemChina's bid for Swiss group Syngenta is set to get antitrust approval from the EU. The 43 billion dollar bid for the Swiss group - and its portfolio of top-tier seeds and patented seeds - is seen as a step to securing China's food supply. ChemChina agreeing to minor concessions to allay European Commission concerns - over whether it may lead to higher prices and less choice for farmers. The Commission didn't comment - but could announce its approval next month ahead of an April deadline. Syngenta shares were up around half a per cent in late trade. The deal's already been approved in the US. UPDATE 1-EU set to approve ChemChina's $43 bln bid for Syngenta - sources - RTRS 02-Feb-2017 16:00 (Adds European Commission decline comment, Syngenta comment, details, shares) By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS, Feb 2 (Reuters) - ChemChina CNNCC.UL is set to secure conditional EU antitrust approval for its $43 billion bid for Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta SYNN.S, the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The deal is important for China, the world's largest agricultural market, which is seeking to secure the food supply for its huge population. Syngenta's portfolio of top-tier chemicals and patent-protected seeds would boost its potential output. The Chinese state-owned company has agreed to minor concessions to allay the European Commission's concerns over its takeover of the world's largest pesticides maker. Regulators had been worried that the deal may lead to higher prices and fewer choices for farmers. ChemChina will divest a couple of national product registrations, including existing products and a few in the pipeline, in more than a dozen EU countries, one of the people said. The products are generally from ChemChina unit and Israeli crop protection company Adama while a few are from Syngenta, the person said. No plants, facilities or personnel are involved. Adama is the largest supplier of generic crop protection products in Europe. Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso declined to comment. It was not immediately possible to reach ChemChina for a comment outside regular office hours. Syngenta said it has not been notified of any decision by the Commission. The Commission may announce its approval next month, ahead of its scheduled April 12 deadline, the source said. Syngenta shares were 0.45 percent higher at 426.4 Swiss francs in late trade. The deal has already been approved by a U.S. national security pane