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Shanghai Pulls Plug On Syngenta IPO In Mass Listings Freeze

Bourse blames outdated info after it suspended the review of 57 IPO applications affecting over $21 billion in targeted fundraising

Syngenta Group China's sign at its Modern Agriculture Platform service centre in Handan, China. Photo: Reuters

 

The Shanghai Stock Exchange has scrubbed ChemChina-owned seeds and crop protection giant Syngenta’s planned $10 billion flotation.

The Shanghai bourse said in disclosures that it had suspended the review of 57 IPO applications, including Syngenta’s – which had been expected to be the world’s largest this year – in a move it blamed on outdated financial data.

Though it’s not unusual for Chinese regulators to seek updated financial information from IPO candidates at the start of each quarter, the move – affecting over $21 billion in targeted fundraising – has raised eyebrows amid Beijing’s tighter scrutiny of Chinese tech firms.

 

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It also follows laptop maker Lenovo Group’s withdrawal on Friday of its application for a $1.5 billion listing on Shanghai’s STAR market, days after it had been accepted. It said on Sunday it had done so because of the possibility of the validity of financial information in its prospectus lapsing during the application’s vetting.

The 57 companies were looking to raise more than 138 billion yuan ($21 billion) in total, according to calculations based on their prospectus filings. 

Syngenta’s application to list on Shanghai’s STAR Market was accepted at the start of July..

Financial reports contained in a company’s IPO prospectus are valid up to six months, according to China’s securities regulator. Syngenta’s application featured financial information up to March-end, meaning it was outdated after September 30.

 

Secondary Listing Plan

The Switzerland-based seeds and crop protection giant was bought in 2017 for $43 billion by ChemChina, which was folded into Sinochem Holdings Corp this year.

Following the flotation, the producer of pesticides and seeds is likely to be valued around $60 billion including debt, or $50 billion without, sources previously said.

ChemChina is also considering a secondary listing for Syngenta that could take place less than a year after its Shanghai debut, with exchanges in Zurich, London and New York among the options being examined, sources have said.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara

 

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Sean OMeara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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