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2 February, 2016 - 15:44 By Kate Sweeney

Chinese close in on $43bn deal for Syngenta

Syngenta close to being sold

Crop protection business Syngenta, which employs 106 people at its Cambridge research hothouse, could be close to being sold to the Chinese for $43 billion cash.

Anchored in the Cambridge UK science & technology cluster at Capital Park in Fulbourn, Swiss-owned Syngenta is said to be in the throes of a sale to China National Chemical Corp.

The state-owned Chinese corporation’s interest was piqued when Monsanta, which also has major operations in Cambridge – at Cambourne Business Park – courted Syngenta investors with a $46bn cash and stock offer, which fell away last August.

At the time of writing, a potential deal with China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) was said to be close. If successful it would be the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company. It would also represent the latest deal in a rapidly shrinking global market as rivals become subsumed by the corporations with the biggest war chests.

Syngenta said at the time of the Monsanta bid that it was talking to a number of parties about a possible takeover and ChemChina has been flexing its financial muscle in the sector – not least through its recent $1bn acquisition of German equipment maker KraussMaffei Group.

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