EU clears ChemChina takeover of Syngenta with conditions
BRUSSELS: ChemChina won EU antitrust approval on Wednesday for its $43 billion bid for Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta, a crucial deal that could help China boost its domestic agricultural output.
The deal, the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company, is one of several that is reshaping the international market for agricultural chemicals, seeds and fertilizers even as they trigger fears among farmers that the pipeline for new herbicides and pesticides might slow.
Reuters reported on Feb. 2 that the deal would be cleared with conditions.
The European Commission said the asset sales addressed 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 1.5 percent after the EU's antitrust 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.
Some of Syngenta's pesticides will also be put on the block. World No. 1 pesticides maker Syngenta sells its products in more than 90 countries under such brand names as Acuron, Axial, Beacon and Callisto. It sells seeds such as cereals, corn, rice, soybeans and vegetables.
US antitrust authorities nodded the deal through on Tuesday on condition that ChemChina divest three products.
The EU approval came a week after it cleared the $130 billion Dow Chemical and DuPont merger in return for hefty asset sales including global research and development facilities.