In the latest twist in a long-running saga, ChemChina is proposing a two-stage acquisition of Syngenta, according to a Bloomberg report.
The news agency said on Friday that the state-owned Chinese company has informally offered 470 Swiss francs/share ($474.70) to buy 70% of Syngenta, valuing the company at $43.7 billion, with an option to acquire the remaining 30% of the shares at a later date. This conflicts slightly with an earlier report of ChemChina’s renewed interest of an increased offer of SF473/share, currently worth $44.0 billion, up from its initial offer, rejected by Syngenta on 12 November, of SF449/share. The new offer would allow ChemChina to integrate its own agchem operations, principally the Israeli generic pesticides maker Adama, with Syngenta’s businesses before taking over complete control, Bloomberg says.
Syngenta is ready to discuss deals with anyone in the industry, including Monsanto, interim CEO John Ramsay told Dow Jones on Friday. He says Monsanto has not revived its takeover effort but adds that a deal with ChemChina would face lower regulatory hurdles than one with a Western rival. Adama has a 5% share of the global pesticides market compared with Syngenta’s industry-leading 19%. Monsanto withdrew its final cash and shares offer, then worth SF430/share ($42.4 billion) in August, after pursuing the company for over a year. Ramsay, who took over as temporary CEO after Michael Mack left Syngenta in October, says he had put himself forward as a permanent replacement, but the board could take several months to decide.
Syngenta admits in its detailed response to the criticism from the alliance of dissident shareholders, calling for the company to be immediately auctioned, that it has abandoned its sales target of $25 billion in 2020, announced to the market in 2012. “The context of low commodity prices since 2013 and the volatility of emerging markets characterized by the depreciation of emerging currencies versus the dollar ha[ve] resulted in Syngenta revising its sales growth target,” the company says.
By Natasha Alperowicz
Source: Chemical Week
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