China gets green light for biggest-ever foreign acquisition

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ChemChina just got the rubber stamp from Europe's top regulator to acquire Switzerland's Syngenta.

China has the green light from U.S. and European regulators to go ahead with a $43 billion takeover, its biggest ever.

ChemChina, a state-owned chemical company, is buying Syngenta (SYT), a Swiss supplier of pesticides and seeds.

The deal would give China, which is the world's most populous country and has a growing middle class, more control over food production. The takeover would be more than twice the size of any other foreign purchase made by a Chinese company, according to data from Dealogic.

The European Commission approved the acquisition on Wednesday, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved it Tuesday. Both regulators required tweaks to ensure the deal wouldn't reduce competition.

They were particularly worried that ChemChina would have too much power in the pesticide market. It already owns the world's biggest producer of generic pesticides, based in Israel. Both companies will have to sell some businesses to competitors.

The deal still needs approval from regulators in China, India and Mexico. Syngenta said it didn't expect problems.

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This acquisition comes amid a flurry of consolidation in the market for crops and chemicals.

Germany's Bayer (BAYRY) is buying Monsanto (MON) for $66 billion in a deal expected to close this year. DuPont (DD) and Dow Chemical (DOW) are also expecting to complete a merger by the end of the year.

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ChemChina has had a strong appetite for overseas deals in the past. In 2015, it bought the Italian tire maker Pirelli for roughly $8 billion.

Shares in Syngenta were up about 1.5% on Wednesday after the European approval came through. The stock has surged more than 20% since rumors about a deal began circulating early last year.

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