China National Chemical Corp won the European Union’s antitrust approval for its $43 billion takeover of Swiss pesticide maker Syngenta AG, a day after the US gave its blessing, bringing China’s largest foreign acquisition closer to the finish line…Full Article: China Daily Apr 2017

Key Point

  • By June 2017, ChemChina expects to officially close its acquisition of Syngenta. However, the US regulators require that ChemChina divest itself of three different types of pesticides [i.e. the herbicide paraquat, the insecticide abamectin, and the fungicide chlorothalonil].

ChinaAg Comments

  • In February 2017, it was rumored that EU approval for the Syngenta acquisition by ChemChina would occur in March 2017 ahead of the April 12th deadline.
  • In January 2017, ChemChina proposed Syngenta-related divestment concessions, rumored to worth less than US$500 million, to the EU.
  • In December 2016, ChemChina announced plans to establish a fund to raise US$5 billion for the Syngenta acquisition. On top of the planned fund, ChemChina has already secured US$5 billion in equity from CITIC’s Feng Xin Jian Da LP fund. During the same month, ChemChina extended its tender offer to purchase Syngenta to March 2, 2017.
  • In November 2016, the European Commission pushed back its merger review deadline to 29 March 2017.
  • In late October, ChemChina and Syngenta didn’t submit concessions/remedies to European Union early review regulators.
  • In mid-October 2016, it was announced that ChemChina and SinoChem would merge. The merger between ChemChina and SinoChem may also include another Chinese organization/company that would invest US$15 billion in the deal.
  • In September 2016, ChemChina announced it extended its tender offer to purchase Syngenta shares to from 13 September 2016 to 8 November 2016. During the same month, a letter of protest against the deal, led Qin Zhongda (served as the Minister of Chemical Industry during the 1980s), was sent to the Ministry of Commerce.
  • In August 2016, CFIUS approved of ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta.
  • As of July 2016, ChemChina had a 60% stake in Adama Agricultural Solutions, but planned to buy out the remaining 40% share. After the merger is completed, the headquarters of Adama would remain in Israel and would also retain its brand names.
  • 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 March 2016, a 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.
  • 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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