Syngenta AG, the Swiss chemical and seed company that rejected repeated buyout offers from Monsanto last year, has agreed to a $43 billion deal to be purchased by China National Chemical Corp., known as ChemChina.
The Chinese company’s offer is about 20 percent higher than Syngenta’s last closing price, but it’s lower than the $47 billion offered in August by Monsanto, the Creve Coeur-based seed maker.
Monsanto said it was abandoning its pursuit of Syngenta in August, when it had a third takeover offer rejected by the company. However, Monsanto indicated in December that it had resumed merger talks with the Swiss company.
ChemChina’s acquisition, the largest ever of an overseas company by a Chinese firm, marks another big development in the continued shakeout of the agrochemicals industry. It makes ChemChina the world’s largest supplier of pesticides and agrochemicals, and it underscores the importance China places on owning a company that can help feed the world’s largest population.
Syngenta’s board unanimously recommended the deal to the company’s shareholders, who still must approve it. If they sign off, the deal is expected to close by year’s end.