Feb. 12, 2016
Syngenta is taking an activist role in dealing with the US government panel that reviews whether foreign acquisitions of US businesses will harm national security.
The company said it plans to file promptly to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS.
"As is best practice in foreign acquisitions involving US businesses, the parties will make a voluntary filing with CFIUS, even though no obvious national security concerns were identified during due diligence," Davor Pisk, Syngenta's COO, said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters.
Pisk said Syngenta performs no classified work for the US government and none of its US facilities appear to be near sensitive US government facilities.
CFIUS consists of representatives from 16 agencies, including Treasury, Homeland Security and Defense.
House Agriculture Committee chairman Michael Conaway said he "will be closely monitoring" the $42.92 billion deal announced on Wednesday by ChemChina as it develops, a committee spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters.
Michael Wessel, a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission which was created to monitor China for Congress, told Reuters that he expected CFIUS would take a hard look at the ChemChina deal.
"This is a $43 billion firm, I do not believe we are talking about basic nitrogen-based fertilizers but some very high value products," he said. "This should be subject to strict scrutiny."
Syngenta is the biggest seller of pesticides in North America, from where it gets nearly a quarter of its revenue, and a major seller of seeds. Its US headquarters are in North Carolina, where it has other facilities in several states, including California, Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska and Minnesota. Syngenta's St.
Gabriel manufacturing facility outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a facility in Houston are registered with the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, which through the Homeland Security Department regulates high-risk chemical facilities.