China’s biggest-ever foreign takeover has moved two steps closer to completion, winning approval in Europe and the United States.
ChemChina is expecting to complete its $43bn (£34bn) takeover of Swiss chemicals firm Syngenta in the first half of this year.
The deal today won anti-trust approval from the European Commission, subject to ChemChina selling “significant parts” of its European pesticide and plant growth regulator business.
Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said:
It is important for European farmers and ultimately consumers that there will be effective competition in pesticide markets, also after ChemChina's acquisition of Syngenta. ChemChina has offered significant remedies, which fully address our competition concerns. This has allowed us to approve the transaction.
The EU approval came shortly after the US anti-trust authorities waved through the deal on the condition of three ChemChina divestments.
The Federal Trade Commission said ChemChina had agreed to divest assets in the areas of: herbicide paraquat, which is used to clear fields before growing season; insecticide abamectin, which protects citrus and tree nut crops; and fungicide chlorothalonil, which protects peanuts and potatoes.
The ChemChina-Syngenta deal was agreed in February 2016. It is one of three major deals agreed in the sector which is currently on the way to completion.
The European Commission gave its backing to the $130bn merger of US chemicals companies Dow Chemical and DuPont last week, again conditional on certain divestments.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Bayer last year agreed a $66bn takeover of US seeds company Monsanto.