JERUSALEM, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Israel-based agricultural group Adama said on Wednesday said it signed a deal to acquire a group of Chinese companies as it seeks to bolster its market position in China ahead of a planned New York share offering.
China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) owns 60 percent of Adama - one of the world's largest makers of generic crop protection chemicals - while Israel's Discount Investment Corp owns the rest.
Adama said it will buy 100 percent each of Jiangsu Anpon, Jiangsu Maidao, Jiangsu Huaihe and Jingzhou Sanonda Holdings from ChemChina for $324 million in cash and assume debt of another $300 million.
The companies combined sales were about $850 million in 2013, Adama said.
It noted that with its purchase of Jingzhou Sanonda Holdings, its stake in agricultural chemicals producer Hubei Sanonda would rise to 31 percent from 11 percent, becoming its largest single shareholder.
The transactions are expected to close during the first half of 2015, after an intended share listing in New York.
Last month, Adama filed with U.S. regulators a plan to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
Once finalised, the acquisition is expected to raise the company's revenues close to $4 billion and give Adama a major foothold in the Chinese market, which is expected over time to become one of the company's key growth engines, it said.
"We believe that we will be uniquely positioned to become a leading player in the still fragmented domestic Chinese crop protection market," Adama Chief Executive Chen Lichtenstein said. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Susan Thomas)