Exclusive - USDA to join U.S. panel reviewing ChemChina's Syngenta deal: sources | Reuters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to join the U.S. government panel that is reviewing state-owned ChemChina's planned $43 billion acquisition of Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta AG ( SYNN.S ), people familiar with the matter said on Monday

Reuters May 17, 2016 06:00:13 IST
Exclusive - USDA to join U.S. panel reviewing ChemChina's Syngenta deal: sources
| Reuters

Exclusive  USDA to join US panel reviewing ChemChinas Syngenta deal sources
 Reuters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to join the U.S. government panel that is reviewing state-owned ChemChina's planned $43 billion acquisition of Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta AG (SYNN.S), people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The move will subject the deal to additional government scrutiny. It comes after lawmakers wrote to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in March to ask that the USDA be involved in the review so that the potential impact of the transaction on domestic food security could be better assessed.

Lew chairs the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews deals for potential national security threats and is comprised of representatives from 16 U.S. agencies including Treasury, Homeland Security and Defense.

The sources asked not to be identified because the USDA's role in CFIUS has not been publicly disclosed.

Treasury declined to comment, with a spokesperson saying, "By law, information filed with CFIUS may not be disclosed by CFIUS to the public. Accordingly, the department does not comment on information relating to specific CFIUS cases, including whether or not certain parties have filed notices for review."

A USDA spokeswoman also declined to comment, citing the same reasons.

Syngenta declined to comment. A spokesman for China National Chemical Corp, known as ChemChina, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While the USDA is not one of the agencies comprising CFIUS, there is precedent of it joining in a review of a deal. In 2013, CFIUS cleared the way for China-based Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd to buy U.S. meat company Smithfield Foods Inc with the USDA's participation.

Syngenta said earlier this year it would make a voluntary filing with CFIUS for its deal with the Chinese state-owned firm "even though no obvious national security concerns were identified during due diligence."

Unveiled in February, the deal is the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Chinese company, as China is looking to secure food supplies for its population.

Syngenta, which is headquartered in North Carolina and generates nearly a quarter of its revenue from North America, is the biggest seller of pesticides in North America and also a key player in seeds. It has other facilities in North Carolina, as well a presence in California, Delaware, Iowa and Minnesota, among other states.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Additional reporting by PJ Huffstutter in Chicago; Editing by Leslie Adler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

also read

Facebook ready to commit to clear ad data access for partners, French watchdog says
Business

Facebook ready to commit to clear ad data access for partners, French watchdog says

By Mathieu Rosemain PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. social media giant Facebook has offered to commit to providing its partners with clear and objective conditions of access to advertising inventories and ad campaign data, France's antitrust authority said on Thursday following an investigation.

S&P 500, Nasdaq dragged by tech as upbeat data fans inflation fears
Business

S&P 500, Nasdaq dragged by tech as upbeat data fans inflation fears

By Lewis Krauskopf, Shashank Nayar and Medha Singh (Reuters) - U.S. stocks wavered on Thursday, with tech shares dragging on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq , as investors balanced concerns about inflation and the Federal Reserve reining in stimulus with relief about corporate tax hikes.

French antitrust watchdog to issue decision on Google's ad business on June 7  - spokesman
Business

French antitrust watchdog to issue decision on Google's ad business on June 7 - spokesman

PARIS (Reuters) - France's antitrust authority will issue a decision following an investigation into Google's advertising business on June 7, a spokesman for the watchdog said on Thursday. Las week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Alphabet's Google was close to settling an antitrust investigation in France over allegations it abused its power in online advertising