Syngenta aims for number-three spot

Company considering targeted acquisitions with focus on seeds.

When it announced a new ambition and priorities following completion of the transaction with ChemChina, Syngenta this week said the goal is to strengthen the company’s leadership position in crop protection and become an ambitious number three in seeds. This will be accomplished by advancing market share through organic growth and collaborations, but the company said it is also considering targeted acquisitions with a focus on seeds.

“Key drivers for the next phase of growth will be further expansion in emerging markets -- notably China -- the stepping up of digital agriculture offers and ongoing investment in new technologies to increase crop yields while reducing (carbon dioxide) emissions and preserving water resources,” Syngenta said.

After being elected chairman of the board of directors on June 26, Ren Jianxin, chairman of ChemChina, reaffirmed that Syngenta’s operational independence will be maintained and that the existing management team will continue to run the company.

“We share Syngenta's strategic and long-term vision and look forward to supporting Syngenta's growth, product offering and services," Ren said. "Together with its board and management and all its employees, we will work for the benefit of growers and to enhance food security and fight famine around the world -- based on principles of technological leadership, environmental safety and sustainability.”

Michel Demaré, vice chairman of Syngenta and lead independent director, said the ChemChina-Syngenta transaction is historic for many reasons: “Not only is it the largest acquisition ever made by a Chinese company, but also it is a deal focused on growth. All our stakeholders are benefiting from this change of ownership. Jobs have been safeguarded, and farmers will continue to have a choice and enjoy the benefits of our investments in technology.”

Demaré said Syngenta will continue to be headquartered and pay taxes in Switzerland, with major manufacturing and research and development sites in the country.

“Syngenta remains a stand-alone company, with a new owner who has a long-term vision for our industry and will invest accordingly,” he said. "The company will maintain the highest corporate governance standards with four independent directors on the board. I look forward to working with Ren Jianxin and the rest of the board to further develop Syngenta leadership in growth and sustainability. Together, ChemChina and Syngenta will make a significant contribution to global food security."

Erik Fyrwald, chief executive officer of Syngenta, explained that the company’s ambition is to be the most collaborative and trusted team in agriculture, providing leading seeds and crop protection innovations to enhance the prosperity of farmers.

“With ChemChina, we have a stable new owner who will help us to achieve this ambition,” he said. “At the same time, we will sustain our focus on productivity and on improving the customer experience. We are excited by the global prospects, and particularly those in China, where we will utilize and build on our technology and know-how to promote the highest agriculture, food safety and environmental standards as well as to increase productivity.”

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