ChemChina Wins EU Approval for $43 Billion Syngenta Deal

  • Companies divest overlapping pesticide, plant growth products
  • U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved deal on Tuesday

China National Chemical Corp. won European Union antitrust approval for its $43 billion takeover of Swiss pesticide maker Syngenta AG, a day after the U.S., bringing China’s largest foreign acquisition closer to the finish line.

The EU approval is conditional on ChemChina’s offer to divest "a significant part" of its Adama unit’s pesticide business, some generic pesticides the unit is developing, a plant growth regulator and some of Syngenta’s pesticides along with related assets and personnel, the European Commission said in an e-mailed statement. 

"In all product markets with problematic overlaps ChemChina will divest either Adama’s or Syngenta’s product," the EU said in the statement. "As a result the commission has approved the transaction."

The takeover, announced a year ago, is one of a trio of mega-deals that would reshape the global agrochemicals industry. Dow Chemical Co.’s bid to merge with DuPont Co. cleared its biggest hurdle last week when it won EU approval with hefty concessions. Bayer AG still needs approval for its purchase of Monsanto Co. The combined transactions would whittle down six industry players to three behemoths: one American, one German and one Chinese.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that it was requiring the companies to divest three types of pesticides in the U.S. as a condition for completing their deal. China’s antitrust authorities are also reviewing the proposed tie-up. The companies expect to close the deal by the end of June.

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