The EU has cleared the way for ChinaChem to acquire Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta, moving the $43 billion deal one step closer to completion.
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement that the proposal met the EU's competition requirements.
"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," she said.
US antitrust authorities approved the deal through yesterday on the condition that ChemChina stops producing three pesticides to avoid monopoly conflicts
The Chinese firm will divest a large portion of its subsidiary Adama's pesticide, herbicides and insecticides business, its seed treatment products for cereals and sugar beet and a substantial part of its plant growth regulator business for cereals.
Sygenta will also divest some of its products but last months the company's CEO Erik Fyrwald told Bloomberg that "Syngenta will stay Syngenta" after the merger.
"We’re not integrating with ChemChina.There'll be ChemChina members coming onto our board. The chairman will be Chairman Ren from ChemChina. But we fully expect to operate as we do today,” he said.
The chief executive added that he expects to keep his job and for Sygenta to remain headquartered in Switzerland.
The deal would be the largest ever acquisition by a Chinese company and leave the world with just three chemical leviathans if Dow Chemicals and DuPont are allowed to merge and Bayer's purchase of Monsanto gets the green light.