AFP - Beijing is planning a mega-merger of chemicals giants Sinochem and China National Chemical Corp. in a massive deal that would reshape the chemicals industry, Bloomberg News reported yesterday.
The companies together would control assets worth more than US$ 100 billion, it said.
The deal comes as authorities attempt a vast restructuring of China’s economy intended to weed out inefficient, debt-saddled firms by forcing them to combine with healthier rivals or face bankruptcy.
But the transition faces hurdles, as politically-connected state-owned companies resist painful reforms, and Communist Party officials are reluctant to see large-scale layoffs that could lead to social unrest.
China National Chemical Corp, also known as ChemChina, made a US$ 43 billion takeover offer earlier this year for Swiss pesticide and seed giant Syngenta, in what would be by far the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm.
But US$ 15 billion of financing crucial to the acquisition was still missing as of this month, Chinese financial media Caixin reported this week. It was unclear how the Chinese merger would affect the Syngenta deal, as details of the transaction had not been announced, Bloomberg said. Syngenta rebuffed US rival Monsanto three times last year before accepting the ChemChina offer. Beijing is seeking to create powerful national champions in select industries that can compete head-to-head with multinational corporations.