Syngenta recently announced that ChemChina has offered to acquire the company. The Board of Directors of Syngenta considers that the proposed transaction respects the interests of all stakeholders and is unanimously recommending the offer to shareholders. There is committed financing for the deal and a strong commitment to pursue regulatory clearances. A Swiss and U.S. tender offer will commence in the coming weeks, and the transaction is expected to conclude by the end of the year.
Greenhouse Grower caught up with Paul Minehart, Head of Corporate Communications for Syngenta in North America, and asked him about how the planned acquisition will affect ornamental producers as well as plant breeders.
Greenhouse Grower (GG): What will the role of ChemChina be in Syngenta, going forward?
Minehart: Ren Jianxin, Chairman of ChemChina, says: “We will continue to work alongside the management and employees of Syngenta to maintain the company’s leading competitive edge in the global agricultural technology field. We look forward to Michel Demaré remaining on the Board as Vice Chairman and lead independent director, and to working with John Ramsay and the management and employees of Syngenta to deliver safe and reliable solutions for the continued growth in global food demand.”
Syngenta will continue to be run by its existing management. The new board will include four independent directors of Syngenta and such a composition of the board is enshrined in the transaction agreement.
GG: How will a deal between Syngenta and ChemChina affect the ornamental/vegetable genetic offerings (seed and vegetative genetics) from the company (Syngenta Flowers)? What are ChemChina’s plans for the flower and vegetable breeding business, and the ornamental crop protection and market going forward, if the sale goes through?
Minehart: On February 3, Syngenta announced that it will not proceed with the planned divestment of the Flowers seeds business in light of ongoing internal review of seeds assets. The insights we gained as we worked through the process of separating this business showed that its potential is best realized within Syngenta.
GG: How will the sale of Syngenta to ChemChina affect Syngenta Crop Protection’s products and distribution, as well as plant producers? How will it affect Syngenta Flowers’ products and distribution?
Minehart: Syngenta remains Syngenta in strategy, management, people, culture, products, and service.
GG: Anything to add?
Minehart: The transaction reinforces the strength of our strategy of being a leading provider of technology for growers and ensures continued choice for growers worldwide.
Syngenta will retain a broad portfolio and geographic presence; and governance of the company will continue to follow the highest standards and is covered by contractual commitments in the transaction agreement.
Jackie Pucci, an editor with AgriBusiness Global, a Meister publication, also caught up with Syngenta Chief Operating Officer Davor Pisk and asked him about the deal, how it affects all phases of the industry, and how it differs from the recent discussions with Monsanto.