EU regulators said set to clear Dow, Syngenta deals next week

(Photo courtesy DuPont Argentina)

Brussels | Reuters — EU antitrust regulators are set to clear the US$130 billion Dow Chemical and DuPont merger and ChemChina’s US$43 billion bid for Syngenta next week, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The European Commission could announce its approvals for both companies at the same time either Monday or Tuesday, the people said.

It is rare for the Commission to announce joint merger decisions but it probably makes sense in this case as both companies are in the agrochemicals sector, the sources said.

Both megadeals in the agrochemicals industry, and another one involving Bayer and Monsanto, have triggered fears among regulators and farmers that the merged companies may slow down the pipeline of new herbicides and pesticides.

Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso declined to comment. Dow did not immediately respond to an email for comment. A Syngenta spokesman said the Swiss company and ChemChina were confident of closing the deal in the second quarter of the year.

The EU antitrust enforcer has set an April 4 deadline for the Dow and DuPont deal, and April 12 for the ChemChina and Syngenta deal.

U.S. chemical companies Dow and DuPont managed to address EU competition concerns with a revised package of concessions which included asset sales and transfer of research and development activities to a rival, sources told Reuters last month.

ChemChina, which is making the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company, won over regulators with its pledge to divest a couple of national product registrations, including existing products and a few in the pipeline, in more than a dozen EU countries, other sources have told Reuters.

— Foo Yun Chee is a Reuters correspondent covering competition cases from Brussels. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Shields in Zurich.


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