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ChemChina to buy Syngenta for $43bn

BEIJING -- ChemChina, a major Chinese state-owned chemicals company, said Wednesday it will acquire Swiss agrochemical giant Syngenta for over $43 billion (5.16 trillion yen). The deal will be the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese company.

     ChemChina aims to tap the Swiss company's expertise in agrochemicals and seeds. Syngenta is the world's largest player in the industry.

     The deal comes amid a spate of high-profile Chinese takeovers in developed countries aimed at acquiring intellectual property and global brands. In January, for example, major Chinese consumer electronics company Haier said it will buy the consumer appliance division of General Electric.

     ChemChina plans to buy all of Syngenta's outstanding shares, and take over its operations and workforce. The Chinese company will retain the Swiss company's brand. The companies will jointly conduct research and development and invest in new lines of business.

     The deal follows ChemChina's purchase last year of Italian high-end tire maker Pirelli for 7.1 billion euros (930 billion yen).

     The realignment of the global chemical industry has been accelerating since U.S. powerhouses Dow Chemical and DuPont announced a megamerger late last year. Monsanto, a major U.S. agriculture company, made several unsuccessful offers to buy Syngenta.

     ChemChina placed a bid for Syngenta last year but struggled to clinch a deal, industry sources say. In the end, however, the Swiss company was persuaded by the Chinese company's deep pockets and the huge Chinese market.


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