The world’s largest pesticide maker Syngenta AG has turned down a buyout offer by China National Chemical Co. (ChemChina), which valued the company at about $42 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. The deal fell through because of regulatory risks, the person said.
Switzerland-based Syngenta rejected ChemChina’s offer of 449 Swiss francs ($447.97) per share but has not broken off talks and an agreement could still be reached, the report said. Syngenta’s shares listed in New York jumped 16 percent in afterhours trading Thursday.
Syngenta is also in talks with other potential suitors. Shareholders had criticized the company after it rejected a $47 billion cash and stock offer by Monsanto Co, earlier this year. In March, the state-backed ChemChina picked up a 26 percent stake in Italian tire maker Pirelli & C. SpA. -- the biggest Chinese investment in Italy so far. The latest offer underscores a growing appetite for top-tier European firms among Chinese companies.
A research report by Baker & McKenzie and the Rhodium Group, a law firm, showed that Chinese investment into Europe was at a record high with 153 separate deals worth $18 billion last year from about $2 billion in 2010.
China’s cash rich investors have snapped up stakes in marquee European brands like PSA Peugeot Citroën in France, Sweden’s Volvo, a major Swiss broadcaster called Infront and Italian fashion house Ferragamo to name a few. Chinese firms also own and manage parts of a Greek port and Heathrow airport in London.
"Chinese investment in Europe has become much more diverse in recent years and is now extending into all parts of Europe," said Thomas Gilles of Baker & McKenzie.