EU regulator delays decision on Syngenta-ChemChina merger

EU regulator delays decision on Syngenta-ChemChina merger

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European Union (EU) antitrust regulators have extended the deadline for a decision on ChemChina’s proposed acquisition of Switzerland-based Syngenta by 10 working days to April 12.

Syngenta said in a statement the two companies had asked for the extension to allow “sufficient time for the discussion of remedy proposals”.

“ChemChina and Syngenta remain fully committed to the transaction and are confident of its closure,” it added.

The proposal review in currently in Phase II, which involves an in-depth analysis of the merger’s effects on competition and lasts 90 working days with a possible extension of 20 working days.

With the extension that was announced this week, the full 20 days has now been granted.

The European Commission (EC) opened the in-depth investigation into state-owned ChemChina’s US$43 billion bid in October, saying the companies had not allayed concerns over the deal.

The entity highlighted that ChemChina controlled Adama, the largest supplier of generic crop protection products in Europe, and added that the transaction would take place in an industry that is already relatively concentrated.

“This deal would lead to the combination of a leading crop protection company with one of its main generic competitors,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in October.

“Therefore we need to carefully assess whether the proposed merger would lead to higher prices or a reduced choice for farmers”.

The EC also said the companies “each have strong partially overlapping portfolios of crop protection products, including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators.”

In addition to this deal, there is also an ongoing Phase II merger investigation between Dow and DuPont, with a decision deadline on February 6, 2017.

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