A U.S. national security panel has cleared ChemChina's $43 billion takeover of Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta, boosting chances that the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Chinese company will go through. As Hayley Platt reports, the decision removes significant uncertainty over the takeover of the world's largest pesticides maker after the two companies agreed a deal in February.
It's certainly taken its time. But a deal between Syngenta and ChemChina is looking more likely. A key U.S. national security regulator has given its approval for the Chinese chemicals company to takeover the Swiss pesticides and seeds group. The deal - first announced back in February - is now valued at around $43 billion dollars. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "Given the exchange rate movements the deal is now valued less than it was ChemChina first put it to Syngenta and it's no surprise therefore that shareholders of Syngenta who had expressed some disquiet about the possibility about the U.S. regulators might not approve it, the share price has moved up quite sharply." The decision will be scrutinised by Monsanto - the world's largest seed company. It's considering whether to sell itself to Germany's Bayer. Last year Syngenta turned down offers from Monsanto - all this at a time when China looks to secure food supplies for its population. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "This deal is just the latest in a whole series of acquisitions in this segment as well. It's also of course hugely interesting because China, for all the uncertainty over the health of the Chinese economy continues to try and acquire stakes in significant industries." There are plenty of other hurdles yet for ChemChina and Syngenta - the Swiss firm making no mention of any concessions they may have made to win clearance. But the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese firm is a significant step closer.