Syngenta, the Swiss pesticide maker, is reported to have turned down a proposed $42bn (£28bn) takeover offer from China National Chemical Corp – a deal that would be the biggest acquisition of a European company by a Chinese bidder.
The state-owned chemicals company offered about SFr449 a share for Syngenta, the world’s biggest pesticides group, Bloomberg News reported. Syngenta, whose market value is about $32bn, turned down the $42bn approach citing the risk of regulatory intervention, Bloomberg said.
The two companies are said to be still in talks and an agreement could be reached in the next few weeks. If ChemChina, as Syngenta’s suitor is known, is successful it would mark the renewed international ambitions of China’s state-owned companies.
China’s president, Xi Jinping, imposed a crackdown on corruption that caught up several officials at state companies and prompted a pause in global dealmaking. Xi, who visited Britain last month, wants China to increase agricultural production as a growing middle class consumes more grain-intensive meat and farmland is used for development.
ChemChina is on the hunt for deals to acquire superior technology and products. Under its ambitious chairman, Ren Jianxin, it agreed in March to buy Pirelli, the Italian tyremaker, for $7.7bn.
Syngenta turned down a $47bn takeover approach from Monsanto of the US in August, saying the price undervalued Syngenta and that competition obstacles were too great.
Syngenta’s chief executive, Mike Mack, was criticised by investors for rebuffing Monsanto. He quit last month. Finance director John Ramsay is running Syngenta for the time being.
Source: The Guardian
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