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Syngenta ditches multi-billion dollar China IPO bid

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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Syngenta ditches multi-billion dollar China IPO bid

BEIJING (Reuters) -Swiss agrichemicals and seeds group Syngenta on Friday withdrew its bid for a multi-billion dollar listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange during a recent period of weakness in the Chinese equity market.

The IPO, which would have valued the Chinese-owned firm at as much as $60 billion, has been postponed repeatedly since being proposed in 2021 due to unfavourable market conditions.

“After careful consideration of industry environment and the company’s own development strategy, Syngenta Group has decided to withdraw its application for IPO on the main board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange,” the company said on Friday.

Syngenta said it will look to restart the listing process either in China or on a different exchange, when conditions are right, as well as explore alternative sources of funding.

The sudden chill in China’s IPO market, which was the world’s biggest in 2022 and 2023, comes after the securities watchdog, under new chairman Wu Qing, vowed to step up scrutiny of listing candidates and crack down on any lapses.

During January-March 2024, money raised via China IPOs plunged two-thirds from a year earlier to just $2.4 billion, the smallest quarterly fundraising since the last three months of 2018, and down 82% from a year earlier, preliminary LSEG data showed.

Syngenta declined to comment.

Executives of the company owned by Sinochem said as recently as last November that Syngenta planned to list in 2024. The partial floatation was expected to raise around $10 billion.

The Shanghai Exchange said in a filing that the bourse had terminated its review of Syngenta’s IPO application after the company applied to withdraw it.

Weak demand in key markets such as Brazil has seen the company’s earnings slide.

Sales in the three months to the end of September 2023 fell 13% to $6.8 billion, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation plunged 68% to $300 million.

(Reporting by Andrew Hayley and Beijing newsroom; Additional reporting by John Revill in Zurich’ Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Kirsten Donovan)