China clears ChemChina’s Syngenta deal

Mexico's antitrust commission grants conditional approval

Syngenta's Interaction Centre at Stein, Switzerland. (Syngenta.com)

Zurich | Reuters — ChemChina’s US$43 billion planned takeover of Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta has received approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the two companies said Wednesday.

“This represents a further step towards the closing of the transaction, which is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2017,” they said in a statement.

China’s approval comes without any conditions, Syngenta said in an email.

The deal still requires regulatory approval from India, after U.S. and European Union competition authorities gave conditional approval last week. Canada’s Competition Bureau issued a “no action” letter on the deal in February.

Mexico’s antitrust commission COFECE approved the deal Tuesday, on the condition that Syngenta divests five products in order to avoid risks to competition. The products in question weren’t named.

The deal is one of several reshaping the agricultural chemicals and seeds market, even as such tie-ups prompt fears among some farmers that bigger, more powerful suppliers could push up prices and economize on developing new herbicides and pesticides.

Reporting for Reuters by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi.

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