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Thursday, July 14, 2016, 10:41

ChemChina 'mulling US$10b share offering'

By Bloomberg

Sale of stock in a unit, combined with other moves, to fund Syngenta buy

China National Chemical Corp is planning to sell US$10 billion worth of preference shares in one of its units, to help fund its record US$43 billion acquisition of the world's biggest agrochemicals company Syngenta AG, according to sources who did not want to be identified.

Under the proposal, half of the preferred shares on sale would be convertible, according to sources. ChemChina also reportedly plans to raise another US$15 billion in cash, bringing the total equity contribution to US$25 billion, and borrow the rest it needs via a loan package.

Representatives at ChemChina did not immediately respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Shares of Swiss group Syngenta closed 0.2 percent higher at 373.10 Swiss francs (US$378) in Zurich on Tuesday, giving the company a market value of 34.5 billion francs.

The fundraising would put State-owned ChemChina a step closer to completing the country's biggest-ever acquisition outside its borders and help the government secure technology that could help feed the world's most-populous nation.

Still, hurdles remain as the deal is still subject to regulatory approvals in the United States during an election year.

The shares are poised to be sold to government-linked entities, according to two separate people familiar with the matter, who declined to name the buyers.

On the debt portion of the fundraising, ChemChina's lenders are preparing to line up US$12.7 billion in bank financing in addition to a US$20 billion loan in March, according to the sources.

Syngenta has said it expects the deal, which is being reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, will be completed by the end of 2016.

CFIUS can recommend to US President Barack Obama that transactions be blocked if they are deemed to pose a risk to national security.

 
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