Syngenta owner ChemChina to merge ag assets with Sinochem’s

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Zurich | Reuters — ChemChina and Sinochem are consolidating their agricultural assets into a new holding company to be called Syngenta Group, ChemChina unit Syngenta said on Sunday.

Chen Lichtenstein, current CEO of Shenzhen-listed crop protection company Adama, which will also be incorporated into the new group, will be nominated chief financial officer of the newly formed Syngenta Group.

He will be based in Basel, Switzerland, the Swiss group said in a statement.

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Reuters reported last month that China National Chemical Corp., or ChemChina, had approached Chinese state-backed investors for up to US$10 billion in funding as part of a reorganization of its agrichemicals business ahead of a public float.

The reorganization includes Syngenta, the Swiss pesticide producer that ChemChina agreed in 2016 to buy for US$43 billion.

The fundraising efforts and eventual stock market listing are designed to cut ChemChina’s debt ahead of a long-awaited mega-merger with state-owned peer Sinochem. Frank Ning, the chairman of both companies, has encouraged individual business units to tap capital markets ahead of any tie-up, which has been in the works since 2016.

ChemChina wants to list Syngenta on China’s technology-focused STAR market in mid-2020, according to fundraising documents dated from October.

— Reporting for Reuters by Michael Shields.

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