CHINA – China National Chemical Corp., or ChemChina, said Friday it has sought the U.S. antitrust regulator’s approval for its planned US$43 billion acquisition of Swiss crop protection and seed group Syngenta.

“We have filed an HSR Act with the FTC after good communications with the case team.

We believe the U.S. anti-trust process is on track,” ChemChina said in an email, referring to the U.S. antitrust Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees mergers.

A Syngenta spokesperson also confirmed the companies had recently submitted the transaction to the FTC after a constructive engagement with the authorities.

 “ChemChina and Syngenta remain fully committed to the transaction and are confident of its closure,” Syngenta said.

Sources close to the deal expected an approval soon, given the small revenue that ChemChina generates from the U.S. via Adama, a maker of generic versions of pesticides without patent protection, and its minor overlap with Syngenta products.

The deal has already won approvals from regulators in several markets, including a U.S. national security panel and Australia’s competition watchdog.

Earlier this month, companies proposed minor concessions to the European Commission’s competition watchdog with one source close to the deal estimating the overall divestment from Adama at less than US$500 million.

Recently, the European Commission extended the deal review to April 12, and a top Syngenta executive said earlier this week that it was “highly optimistic that by the date we will have made sufficient progress in the U.S. and EU to be going forward.”

January 20, 2017;