Syngenta confirmed Monday that ChemChina, a Chinese state-owned company, has offered to acquire the company with the cash purchase of all Syngenta shares. The $43 billion deal must still be approved by two-thirds of Syngenta shareholders and receive regulatory approval.
A Swiss and U.S. tender offer will be coming shortly and the transaction is expected to be concluded by the end of the year. Under the agreement, Syngenta’s existing management would continue to run the company. After closing, a ten member Board of Directors will be chaired by Ren Jianxin, Chairman of ChemChina, and will include four of the existing Syngenta Board members.
During a call with reporters on Monday, Syngenta Chief Operating Officer Davor Piskof said the offer will allow Syngenta “to continue as a stand alone company,” and keep its commitment to research and innovation. “To ensure that Syngenta remains Syngenta (is) one of the most important elements of this transaction,” said Piskof, adding that it “helps preserve choice for growers at a time when we’re seeing a lot of consolidation.”
Asked if the acquisition by a Chinese state-owned company might help facilitate that country’s acceptance of genetically modified crops, Piskof said, “I think China is looking to develop biotechnology in agriculture because it recognizes the benefits to help drive both productivity and quality – however that’s not going to happen overnight.” He added that there has been a lot of misinformation about biotechnology in China and is a “sensitive issue” but Syngenta sees an opportunity to help them “evolve.”
Syngenta already has a full multi-media website devoted to the deal – syngenta-growth.com.
Listen to entire call here to learn more: [wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/syngenta-call.mp3″ text=”Syngenta COO Davor Piskof”]