Syngenta board in favor of US$43B ChemChina takeover

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Syngenta board in favor of US$43B ChemChina takeover

In a corporate tussle involving both ChemChina and Monsanto, the Syngenta board has unanimously recommended shareholders accept a takeover offer from the former.

In an announcement today, the Swiss crop protection firm said ChemChina had offered to acquire it for CHF480 (US$465) per ordinary share.

If the takeover is approved, Syngenta shareholders would also receive the proposed ordinary dividend of CHF11 (US$10.93) in May this year.

The board said financing was committed for the deal as well as a strong commitment to pursuing regulatory clearances. A Swiss and U.S. tender offer will commence in the coming weeks, and the board expect the transaction to be concluded by the year's end.

The Swiss firm emphasized its existing management would continue to run the company, while the new 10-member board of directors would retain four of the existing Syngenta board members with ChemChina chairman Ren Jianxin as the new Syngenta chairman.

"In making this offer, ChemChina is recognizing the quality and potential of Syngenta’s business," Syngenta chairman Michel Demaré said in the release.

"This includes industry-leading R&D and manufacturing and the quality of our people worldwide. The transaction minimizes operational disruption; it is focused on growth globally, specifically in China and other emerging markets, and enables long-term investment in innovation.

"Syngenta will remain Syngenta and will continue to be headquartered in Switzerland, reflecting this country’s attractiveness as a corporate location."

The company's CEO John Ramsay, highlighted Syngenta was a world leader in crop protection that had significantly increased its global market share over the last 10 years.

"This deal will enable us to maintain and expand this position, while at the same time significantly increasing the potential for our seeds business," Ramsay said.

"It will ensure continuing choice for growers and ongoing R&D investment across technology platforms and across crops. Our commitment to cost and capital efficiency will remain unchanged."

Ren said discussions between the two companies had been friendly, constructive and cooperative, and his company was delighted with the collaboration that had led to the announcement.

"We will continue to work alongside the management and employees of Syngenta to maintain the company’s leading competitive edge in the global agricultural technology field," he said.

"Our vision is not confined to our mutual interests, but will also respond to and maximize the interests of farmers and consumers around the world.

"We look forward to Michel Demaré remaining on the Board as Vice Chairman and lead independent director, and to working with John Ramsay and the management and employees of Syngenta to deliver safe and reliable solutions for the continued growth in global food demand."


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