EU clears ChemChina's $43 billion takeover of Syngenta with conditions

Wed Apr 5, 2017 11:40am EDT
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By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - ChemChina [CNNCC.UL] won conditional EU antitrust approval on Wednesday for its $43 billion bid for Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta (SYNN.S: Quote), a deal that could help China boost its domestic agricultural output.

The deal is one of several reshaping the agricultural chemicals and seeds market, even as these deals trigger fears among some farmers that bigger, more powerful suppliers could be better placed to push up prices and economize on developing new herbicides and pesticides.

Reuters reported on Feb. 2 that the deal, the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company, would be cleared with conditions.

The European Commission said planned asset sales would address its competition concerns.

"It is important for European farmers and ultimately consumers that there will be effective competition in pesticide markets, also after ChemChina's acquisition of Syngenta," European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Syngenta shares were trading up 1.1 percent after the clearance was announced.

ChemChina will sell a large chunk of its subsidiary Adama's pesticide, herbicides and insecticides business, its seed treatment products for cereals and sugar beet and a substantial part of its plant growth regulator business for cereals.

American Vanguard said it struck a deal with Adama to acquire three crop protection product lines, without disclosing financial terms.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: Syngenta's logo is seen at Syngenta Biotech Center in Beijing, China, February 19, 2016.  REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo