ZURICH: Shareholders in Swiss pesticide and seed giant Syngenta have accepted the company’s takeover by state-owned ChemChina, the companies said Friday, which would be the biggest overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm.
The proposed merger is part of a broader wave of consolidation in the agro-chemicals sector that has worried environmental activists and farmers.
At the closing date for the offer on May 4, shareholders holding around 80.7 percent of the company’s stock had accepted the US$43-billion takeover, according to a preliminary count.
Subject to confirmation of the results, “the Minimum Acceptance Rate condition of 67 percent of issued Syngenta shares has been met”, they said in a statement.
That confirmation is expected to come next week, with the transaction scheduled to take place in two steps over the next month.
ChemChina made its offer for Syngenta in February 2016, but the completion of the takeover dragged on as it waited for the green light from regulators.
Both US and EU regulators approved the deal in April despite growing resistance on both sides of the Atlantic to blockbuster takeovers by Chinese companies.
The deal combines Syngenta, a global leader in seeds and crop protection, with ChemChina which controls Adama, the largest supplier of generic crop protection products in Europe.
ChemChina pledged to sell part of Adama’s pesticide business and take other steps to gain regulatory approval.
The deal comes after the EU approved in March the US$130-billion merger of US agro-chemicals giants Dow Chemical and DuPont.
The bloc is also set to decide on German giant Bayer’s US$66-billion offer for US firm Monsanto.