Around 1,300 Chinese citizens have signed a letter to protest China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina)’s acquisition of Swiss-based Syngenta, citing genetically modified (GM) food worries, one of the protestors who helped draft the letter told the Global Times on Monday [19 September 2016]. Qin Zhongda, the former minister of the Ministry of Chemical Industry, was the leading signatory. The Ministry of Chemical Industry is now the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation…Full Article: The Global Times Sept 2016

Key Point

  • In March 2016, a similar letter of protest against the acquisition was delivered to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) [ChemChina is a member of the SASAC].

ChinaAg Comments

  • Born in 1923 in Shandong Province, Qin Zhongda served as the Minister of Chemical Industry during the 1980s.
  • In September 2016, ChemChina announced it extended its tender offer to purchase Syngenta shares to from 13 September 2016 to 8 November 2016.
  • In August 2016, CFIUS approved of ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta.
  • In June 2016, ChemChina refiled (specific date not given) its acquisition bid for Syngenta with The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The CFIUS review process can take up to 75 days.
  • On 17 May 2016, ChemChina announced it extended its tender offer to purchase Syngenta shares to from 23 May 2016 to 18 July 2016.
  • On 16 May 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reportedly joined CFIUS to review the ChemChina-Syngenta deal.
  • In February 2016, ChemChina announced it would acquire Syngenta for US$43 billion. However the deal would have to clear the CFIUS review process before the acquisition can be completed.
  • In December 2015, ChemChina offered to buy 70% of Syngenta at 470 Swiss francs per share, with an option to acquire the other 30% at a later date. During the same month, Dow announced that it would merge with DuPont.
  • In October 2015, Syngenta’s CEO quit and was provisionally replaced by the company’s CFO in the wake of the former’s refusal to consider Monsanto’s US$47 billion buy-out.
  • In August 2015, Monsanto formally withdrew its takeover offer to Syngenta.
  • In March 2015, ChemChina agreed to purchase a 26.2% stake in Italy’s Pirelli & C SpA (Milan based tire manufacturer) for US$7.7 billion.
  • Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Beijing, ChemChina is China’s largest generic agricultural-chemical company. The company is the largest non-patented pesticide manufacturer of herbicides, insecticides, bactericides, plant growth regulators, more than 120 kinds of pesticides and over 800 preparations. ChemChina also manufactures animal nutrition products, rubber, and chemical fertilizers.

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