(Correcting to show Gao has retired and not is retiring in 1st
and 3rd paragraphs.)
By Chen Aizhu
BEIJING, March 6 China's Commerce Ministry has
not received an application from ChemChina seeking
approval for its planned $43 billion takeover of Syngenta
, Gao Hucheng, who recently retired as commerce
minister, said on Monday.
The government will only start the process of considering
any application from ChemChina after other regulatory steps in
other countries are complete, he said on the sidelines of
China's annual parliament meeting.
The government announced less than two weeks ago that Gao
retired and was replaced by his deputy Zhong Shan.
His comments come a month after Syngenta delayed the
expected closure of the deal, the largest foreign acquisition by
a Chinese company, to the second quarter amid scrutiny from U.S.
and European regulators.
The approval process has drawn intense interest from
investors as two other major tie-ups in the pesticides and seeds
industry are being examined by regulators across the globe:
Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto and the
merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont.
Syngenta Chief Executive Erik Fyrwald said last month he is
confident the deal would win approval from the regulator in
China, the world's top agricultural market, without causing any
(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Writing by Josephine Mason Editing by