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ChemChina Clinches Landmark $43 Billion Takeover of Syngenta

ChemChina Clinches Landmark $43 Billion Takeover of Syngenta

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The transaction is set to close on May 18 after the start of an additional acceptance period for shareholders and payment of a special 5-franc dividend to holders of Swiss-listed shares on May 16. Holders of U.S.-listed depositor receipts will get the special dividend in July.


Syngenta shares will be delisted from the Swiss bourse and its depository receipts from the New York Stock Exchange.


Chief Executive Erik Fyrwald played down the transition from publicly listed group to becoming part of a Chinese state enterprise, stressing that Syngenta would remain a Swiss-based global company while under Chinese ownership.


"It is very important to understand that this is a financial transaction," he told broadcaster CNBC in an interview.


He saw two major changes: giving Syngenta a long-term shareholder to accompany it during the 12 years it typically takes to discover and launch new products, and helping to overhaul Chinese agriculture, which he called very much behind the global standard.


He said he expected the acceptance rate to easily surpass 90 percent, with a squeeze-out of remaining shareholders to follow if needed in June.


Funding for the acquisition was clear and irrevocable, while refinancing the company after the transaction closed was still being discussed.


"I am very confident we are going to have a strong balance sheet as agreed," he said, with an investment-grade rating that would let it pursue market share growth, investments, capital spending and acquisitions.


Syngenta sells its products in more than 90 countries under such brand names as Acuron, Axial, Beacon and Callisto. It sells seeds such as cereals, corn, rice, soybeans and vegetables.


By Courtesy of Reuters

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