Syngenta public offering on track

ZURICH, Switzerland (Reuters) — Syngenta posted higher first-half profit and sales on Aug. 27, helped by maintaining supplies to farmers and controlling costs during the coronavirus outbreak.

It said it was on track to complete its public listing by mid-2022.

The Swiss company, bought by state-owned ChemChina for US$43 billion in 2017, posted a two percent rise in sales to $12.04 billion for the six months ended June 30, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased seven percent to $2.22 billion.

Syngenta said it had overcome low grain prices, which reduced the ability of farmers to invest in fertilizers and pesticides, and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by controlling costs and maintaining supplies.

Chief executive officer Erik Fyrwald said an initial public offering of Syngenta was still being planned.

“The commitment was within five years of when we closed the deal with ChemChina. That was in June of 2017. So mid-year of 2022 would be the five-year mark,” Fyrwald told reporters.

“We believe we are on track to achieve that.”

ChemChina, which owns 100 percent of Syngenta, wants to list the Basel company on China’s technology-focused STAR market, Reuters reported last year.

Syngenta Group, which was created from a merger of Syngenta, Israel’s ADAMA and the agricultural business of Sinochem, is now looking at ways to restructure the debts it took on following the ChemChina takeover.

The company said the rest of the year remained “challenging,” although crop prices could rise due to extreme weather events, Fyrwald said.

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