Syngenta Chairman Sympathizes With Investors Facing De-Listing

  • ChemChina purchase of Swiss company for $43 billion on track
  • Demare hosting annual general meeting for investors today

Syngenta AG Chairman Michel Demare, who helped orchestrate the sale of the Swiss agrochemical maker to a state-owned Chinese company for $43 billion, said he sympathizes with those shareholders facing the delisting of the business.

“Many of you regret the loss of Syngenta as an investment -- I understand this completely,” Demare told more than 1,337 investors assembled at the Jakobshalle sports and music arena in Basel.

Today’s annual general meeting could be the last if China National Chemical Corp.’s takeover proceeds to plan and closes later this year. Syngenta last year rebuffed takeover offers from St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. and Demare said today that option would have led to “enormous destruction and the loss of thousands of jobs.”

Syngenta was formed through the merger of the agribusinesses of Novartis AG and AstraZeneca Plc in 2000. For investors, the Swiss maker of pesticides has been the main route to owning a specialized agrochemical and seeds company as key rivals remain divisions of broader groups such as BASF SE and Bayer AG.

The stock first listed at 85 francs. It traded at 401.4 francs as of 11:15 a.m today, amid a perceived risk that the purchase could be delayed by regulators including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS.

Demare said today he’s not phased by any antitrust reviews of the deal and the acquisition remains on track.

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