WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2016 -- China National Chemical Corp. is close to an agreement to buy Swiss pesticide-and-seed-maker Syngenta AG for almost $43 billion, Bloomberg Business and the Wall Street Journal are reporting.

The acquisition - which would be the biggest-ever by a Chinese firm -- could be announced as early as Wednesday when the Swiss company reports earnings, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Those same sources cautioned that the acquisition could still fall apart.

The deal would transform ChemChina into the world’s biggest supplier of pesticides and agrochemicals, while snatching an asset coveted by Monsanto. The St. Louis-based company dropped its pursuit of Syngenta in August after Syngenta spurned a sweetened offer of $46 billion in cash and stock.

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Bloomberg Business also said the deal would underscore the importance China attaches to owning seed and cropcare technology that can increase agricultural output and help feed a growing population in the world’s most populous country.

The deal would further shrink the number of companies dominating the global seed and pesticide business. Late last year, DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical announced plans to merge.


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