Syngenta eyes Chinese sale

The multi-billion dollar acquisition of agribusiness Syngenta, which operates Syngenta Flowers locally on Hecker Pass Road, by China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina), China’s largest chemical company, cleared a major hurdle last month when the deal was approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The agency reviews transactions that could result in control of an American business by a foreign entity, in order to determine the effect of such transactions on national security.

Syngenta media representative Paul Minehart said the ruling by CFIUS represented a “big step forward” for the deal, which should be closed by the end of the year. The transaction is still subject to antitrust review by the United States and numerous regulators around the world along with other customary closing conditions.

When asked how the sale of the company would impact Syngenta in Gilroy, Minehart said one of the key components of the proposed acquisition by ChemChina is that “Syngenta will remain Syngenta.” Its corporate headquarters will remain in Switzerland and there no current plans to change any of their global operations. Syngenta employs more than 28,000 people in more than 90 countries.

In 2008, Syngenta acquired Gilroy-based Goldsmiths Seeds, Inc., an industry-leading, longstanding breeder and producer of flower seeds, for $74 million.

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