SWITZERLAND – Syngenta has entered a binding agreement to acquire Nidera Seeds for an undisclosed sum in an announcement by the Swiss agri-business giant and Chinese grains trader China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO)

The Chinese-state owned food processing holdings company COFCO International is the country’s largest food processor, manufacturer and trader, which focuses on corn, sunflowers, sorghum, soybeans and wheat.

According to the company, Nidera BV is a Dutch subsidiary which was originally acquired when COFCO bought 51% of the shares in 2014.

Three years on, COFCO has agreed to sell the business to Syngenta for an undisclosed amount as terms of the binding agreement have not been revealed.

As part of a comprehensive expansion of its international grains trading business, COFCO completed a full takeover of Nidera this year.

According to Reuters, Nidera has been experiencing losses and accounting issues which led the company to begin looking at ways to divest parts of the business.

“This agreement is an important step in our strategy to focus on our major businesses,” said Johnny Chi, Chief Executive Officer of COFCO International.

“Syngenta is well placed to provide Nidera Seeds a strong platform for further long-term growth, creating the best value for its customers, farmers and employees.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to clearance by the relevant merger-control authorities and regulatory clearances.

The global seeds business is also going through a serious shake-up with fellow Chinese-state owned corporation ChemChina (China National Chemical Corporation) going through a US$43 billion takeover of Syngenta earlier this year.