Login | Register / Chinese


Adama to Acquire Control of China National Agrochemical Corporation’s Chinese Businesses
Source:Farm Chemicals International  author: Cong Lv
  date: 2014-10-09  

Israel-based Adama Agricultural Solutions Ltd. said it will acquire control of the Chinese businesses of its majority shareholder, China National Agrochemical Corporation (CNAC) - a unit of China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina). The businesses are expected to raise Adama’s revenues by $850 million to nearly $4 billion and, over time, become one of the company’s key growth engines.

“We are creating the only global-China player,” Adama Chief Executive Chen Lichtenstein said in an interview with Farm Chemicals International. He described how the groundbreaking deal affords Adama increased access to the world’s most efficient manufacturing hub, as well as a foothold in what is expected to be the largest agrochemical market in the world next to Brazil within a decade, and one which the multinationals have thus far struggled to crack. “There is no global company that feels confident enough to operate in China in a fully back-integrated manner and move product in and out of China,” Lichtenstein said. Stringent regulations, concerns about intellectual property protection and know-how and the extraordinarily high costs of acquiring Chinese businesses have served to deter multinationals from making inroads in the market.

“Under the ChemChina umbrella, we are given a unique competitive advantage. Our ability to deal with local requirements, our ability to deal with counterfeits, our ability to deal with any aspect of IP protection is completely different to other players that don’t have backing of [state-owned] ChemChina,” Lichtenstein explained.

He added, “From the perspective of the Chinese national interest, we are providing a very important role in creating the right portfolio for Chinese farmers, bringing in the best technology that we can in terms of production, formulation, packaging and usage – all in best way possible and also in quality of products. We have a very elaborate plan for the coming years on how to expand, deepen access in Chinese market and also how to develop the new sites we have just acquired.”

Through the most recent deal, Adama will acquire 100% of each of Jiangsu Anpon, Jiangsu Maidao, Jiangsu Huaihe (collectively called the Huai’an Hub) and Jingzhou Sanonda Holdings (Sanonda Holdings), for about $323 million in cash, together with assumed net debt of approximately $300 million. The Huai’an Hub is based in the vicinity of Huai’an City in Jiangsu Province, the heart of the agrochemical industry in China. Sanonda Holdings owns a 20% stake in Hubei Sanonda Ltd. (Sanonda), which is publicly traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and its acquisition by Adama will increase Adama’s existing stake in Sanonda from 11% to 31%, with Adama thereby becoming the single largest shareholder in the company.

The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2015, following Adama’s planned U.S. IPO, and is subject to certain customary closing conditions.

Expected Benefits of the Acquisition

Adama said it is also establishing a new global R&D hub, with nearby modern synthesis facilities and a global formulation center.

In addition, the company said the acquisition is expected to provide it with unique access to, and a competitive, backward-integrated cost position in, certain key agrochemical molecules that it currently purchases from third parties. “This will assist Adama, after obtaining the required registrations over the next few years, to increase both the sales and profitability of those products on a global basis.” Adama also intends to use its global distribution channels to expand sales of various products that the Chinese businesses currently export through third parties.

Given the industry and Adama’s growing proportion of products that are either produced or procured in China, creating a global production, formulation, packaging and logistics center in China is expected to provide the most appropriate location for “optimizing operations and shortening supply lines, thereby increasing flexibility and reducing inventory and working capital, shipping, and other logistics costs.”

Sanonda Framework Agreement

Within the context of the transaction, Adama and Sanonda will enter into a framework agreement to commence a comprehensive, strategic collaboration. This will include the two companies viewing each other as leading partners for Adama distributing Sanonda products worldwide, and working together to enhance their offering in the China domestic market. The agreement also establishes the foundation for the two companies sharing know-how and promoting product innovation, Adama said.

Adama Breaks Ground on Global Formulation Center in Jiangsu

Adama has broken ground on a new formulation center in Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province to support the build-up of its commercial and operating infrastructure in China, as well as globally. The new center will serve as a manufacturing facility for advanced and unique formulations and mixtures. The center will increase the company’s global formulation capacity and is planned to commence operations as early as 2016, benefiting from the company’s adjacent Huai’an Hub that will be providing central services and skilled employees.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, China produced a total of 3.2 million tons of pesticides in 2013. Of this, approximately 50% is exported, making China the world’s largest exporter of crop protection products. Jiangsu in particular – the province in which the Huai’an Hub is located – has emerged as the leading manufacturing area in China for the global agrochemical industry, and is home to 31 of the top 100 Chinese agrochemical manufacturers.