Banks vie to lend ChemChina money in Syngenta deal

Call it the battle of the banking loan syndicates.

According to Chinese news agency Caixin, two separate banking syndicates are falling over themselves to lend money to China National Chemical (ChemChina) in its $43 billion takeover bid for Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta. The deal would be the biggest-ever foreign investment by a Chinese enterprise.

syngentaIn the first case, seven Chinese and foreign banks have pledged 20% more than the $12.7 billion syndicated loan request, China Citic Bank International, the consortium’s lead bank, told Caixin.

Meanwhile, a separate bank consortium led by HSBC wants to offer a $7.5 billion syndicated loan.

In February, state-run ChemChina announced the bid with support from the board of directors of the Basel-based pesticides and seeds company. The proposed takeover has yet to receive the necessary stamps of approval from regulators in Europe and the US.

The Citic-led syndicate’s oversubscribed loan would be backed by ChemChina assets, sources who asked not to be named told Caixin. But the HSBC-led syndicate would not require similar collateral, sources said.

Citic told Caixin on Wednesday that its Chinese partners are Industrial Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. However, it wouldn’t name the other four banks because they are foreign.

Citic said on June 3 its consortium had pledged an amount of capital that exceeded the fundraising target by 20%, indicating the total amount subscribed is around $15.2 billion.

To supplement the bank loans, the sources said without being specific, ChemChina would likely pursue raising capital through an equity-financing project.



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