ChemChina and Syngenta Agreed on a $34 Billion Takeover, Transaction to be Completed After Regulatory Approval

By Staff Writer

Feb 03, 2016 06:44 AM EST

China's state-owned chemicals group ChemChina confirmed that it will make an agreed bid of $34 billion for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta. Previously, several companies have expressed interest in acquiring the Swiss company, but so far ChemChina is the closest to close the deal.

The acquisition is the biggest foreign purchase by a Chinese company. It is also the second biggest takeover in the chemicals industry over the past year, as reported by the BBC

Ever since Syngenta announced that the company is considering a possible foreign merger a few months ago, several companies have stated their interest, including American multinational agrochemical and agricultural corporation Monsanto. In fact, Monsanto had cast out a bid of $46 billion in a cash-and-stock takeover in January, but it was rejected.

The buzz around Syngenta's possible takeover has boosted its stock price over recent months. According to Fox Business, the company's shares rose more than 6 percent early on Wednesday. However, the shares somehow traded at around 418 Swiss francs, below the agreed offer price of 480 Swiss francs.

The two company have agreed on the settlement, but ChemChina will have to secure approval from some authorities to proceed with the deal. However, Syngenta CEO John Ramsay is optimistic that the transaction would not be unobstructed by major regulatory hurdles. "I think the overall regulatory approvals will not be very challenging," Ramsay said, as quoted by Reuters. ChemChina Chairman Ren Jianxin also described the discussions process between the company as friendly and cooperative. "We are delighted that this collaboration has led to the agreement announced today."

This purchase is not ChemChina's first move to acquire Western technology and distribution networks. Last year, ChemChina acquired German machinery manufacturer KraussMaffei Group for $1 billion in a transaction often regarded to as one of the most intriguing foreign purchase. On March, ChemChina also bought Italian tire maker Pirelli's stake.

Syngenta chairman Michel Demaré also noted the significance of the deal for global growth. "The transaction minimizes operational disruption. It is focused on growth globally, specifically in China and other emerging markets, and enables long-term investment in innovation," Demaré stated.

After the acquisition was completed, Syngenta will remain with its brand as Syngenta. The company will also continue to retain its base in Switzerland. For the deal to be completed, ChemChina still needs regulatory approval in the U.S and Europe.

The transaction, most likely to be completed, reflects China's ambition to expand business in global markets as well as acquiring advanced technology in foreign countries. ChemChina's acquisition of Syngenta will be biggest foreign purchase ever made by a Chinese company. However, it's by no means the only recent transaction, considering that the trend is increasing for Chinese companies to invest overseas.

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