Syngenta Says Too Soon to See Form Consolidation Will Take

Syngenta AG Chairman Michel Demare said it’s too early to call the next move in the consolidating agricultural chemical and seeds industry, with China looming as a possible buyer of assets and rivals in the U.S. merging.

A merger agreement between Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. has spurred consolidation talks among remaining players concerned about the emergence of a new market leader with a broad portfolio of products to offer farmers.

Syngenta itself is looking at multiple opportunities, Demare said Wednesday at a conference in Zug, Switzerland.

“We are at the stage where we are looking at different combinations,” Demare said. “You have to see what are the best partners possible. The chairman and board cannot only do what shareholders want but also stakeholders.”

In August, Monsanto abandoned a $47 billion proposal to buy Syngenta, currently the world’s largest agrochemical producer, after management spurned the offer. China National Chemical Corp., known as ChemChina, is now pursuing the Swiss company, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

In addition to the established market leaders that include BASF AG, Bayer AG and seedmaker Monsanto Co., “you have to consider ChemChina as a potential bidder too,” he said.

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