As concerns about food security push China to reduce its reliance on foreign seeds, the Switzerland-based, Chinese-owned Syngenta Group is gearing up for a nearly $10 billion initial public offering to fund the acquisition of vital seed technologies.
A paddy on the outskirts of Guangzhou growing Simiao rice, a variety promoted as a brand by local governments, has an eye-catching red Communist Party signboard in the middle of the field declaring that “the party leads rural development.”
Such cultivation trials and breeding programs can be found nationwide, and Syngenta, part of state-owned China National Chemical Corp., has been at the forefront.
Bloomberg reported in mid-June that the company is considering a plan to debut this year on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s tech-focused STAR Market. The 65 billion yuan ($9.7 billion) offering would be a record for the board. Syngenta submitted an application for an IPO in June 2021 and was believed to be close to a listing after updating its materials in March.
Syngenta says the proceeds will fund a first-class research center in China and a global seed bank. About 70% of the cash is slated for research and development as well as acquisitions in China and abroad, with a particular focus on seeds.
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