ChemChina eyes Syngenta

  • ZUG, Switzerland (Reuters) Syngenta is in talks about a possible merger and is weighing several options, said the Swiss agrichemicals group’s chair Jan. 13.

Michel Demare said last month that the crop chemicals and seeds company was talking with China’s state-owned ChemChina, U.S. seeds giant Monsanto and others.

When asked about the prospect of Syngenta possibly becoming a Chinese company, Demare said: “We are at a stage where we are looking at different combinations. I’m just saying it’s one of them. Everybody has spoken to each other.”

“I have said a few months ago that I believe within six months we will see some consolidation steps … it is too early to say how all this will finish.”

ChemChina, which is being advised by HSBC, is seeking a loan package by several large Western banks to fund a possible Syngenta takeover deal, which later may be refinanced by Chinese banks, several sources familiar with the matter said.

A takeover of Syngenta by ChemChina would underpin an effort by the Chinese government to boost farming productivity, as it seeks to cut reliance on food imports amid limited farmland, a growing population and higher meat consumption.

ChemChina has a five percent share of the global crop chemicals market through its ownership of Israeli generic pesticides maker Adama.

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