ChemChina's takeover

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Swiss agri­cul­ture com­pany Syn­genta AG said on Fri­day that its planned sale to State-owned con­glom­er­ate China Na­tional Chem­i­cal Corp poses no food safety or na­tional se­cu­rity is­sues. The com­pany was re­spond­ing to US law­mak­ers af­ter they raised con­cerns over the $43 bil­lion takeover.

"We wel­come a full re­view of the trans­ac­tion by the US gov­ern­ment and will con­tinue to work closely with all of the agen­cies as we move for­ward in the re­view process," a Syn­genta spokesman was quoted as say­ing by newswire Dow Jones.

"We do not be­lieve the pro­posed trans­ac­tion raises any food safety or sig­nif­i­cant na­tional se­cu­rity is­sues."

Po­lit­i­cal head­winds in Wash­ing­ton started cir­cling ChemChina's pro­posed ac­qui­si­tion, which could be­come China's big­gest ever for­eign takeover, af­ter a US sen­a­tor from a ma­jor farm state sug­gested this week the au­thor­i­ties ex­am­ine any po­ten­tial food safety con­cerns from the trans­ac­tion.

Sen­a­tor Charles Grass­ley of Iowa, a Repub­li­can mem­ber of the Se­nate com­mit­tee on agri­cul­ture, nu­tri­tion and forestry, said a bi­par­ti­san group of senators would seek a for­mal role for the US Agri­cul­ture Depart­ment as the Com­mit­tee on For­eign In­vest­ment in the US, or CFIUS, car­ries out a na­tional se­cu­rity re­view of the ChemChi­naSyn­genta deal. Law­mak­ers want food se­cu­rity and safety im­pli­ca­tions an­a­lyzed, Grass­ley said in a Wall Street Jour­nal story pub­lished on Thurs­day.

A ChemChina ac­qui­si­tion of Syn­genta would also give China even more con­trol over the global mar­ket for ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied corn, soy­bean and other seeds than it al­ready has, he said. In a ra­dio in­ter­view broad­cast on Wed­nes­day, Grass­ley said he was con­cerned ChemChina's bid for Syn­genta would give Bei­jing own­er­ship of a vi­tal part of the US agri­cul­tural in­fra­struc­ture. "Be­cause the food and agri­cul­ture sec­tors are part of the na­tion's crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture, this merger rais-

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