© Reuters. Syngenta logo is seen at its China headquarters in Beijing

ZURICH (Reuters) – Beijing’s ambassador to Switzerland said ChemChina’s $43 billion takeover of seed and agrochemicals firm Syngenta was a mistake, adding he would have tried to stop the 2017 deal had he been in Bern at the time, a newspaper reported in an interview on Saturday.

“If I had been the ambassador a year earlier, the takeover wouldn’t have taken place,” Gen Wenbin was quoted as telling the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, without giving specific reasons for his opposition to the deal.

“It wasn’t a good deal for the Chinese side. It was for Switzerland: It got $40 billion. If Switzerland wants Syngenta back, I would convince ChemChina to sell it. But is there anybody at all in Switzerland who wants Syngenta back?”

Basel-based Syngenta was listed on the SIX Swiss Stock exchange when it was bought by ChemChina, so shareholders received the money from the deal that closed in 2017.

After the takeover spurred debate over foreign countries expanding in Switzerland, Swiss politicians are debating a measure in parliament that could require government approval of sales of Swiss companies to foreign entities.

Other big Chinese investments in Swiss companies include HNA Group’s purchase of airline caterer Gategroup and ground services and cargo handling firm Swissport.

Gen Wenbin said criticism in Switzerland’s media over such transactions had driven potential Chinese investors to look elsewhere.

“They’re going to Germany,” the ambassador told the daily newspaper.

Syngenta did not return a phone call and email seeking comment on Saturday. No one could immediately be reached to comment at the Chinese embassy.

The former Swiss firm is targeting growth through acquisitions in the $17 billion Chinese seed market, where access is restricted for foreign players, as well as new products and collaborations in technology.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Source link