Linklaters, Simpson Thacher, Davis Polk advise as ChemChina buys Syngenta for $43bn

Linklaters, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Davis Polk have won mandates alongside two Swiss firms to advise on ChemChina’s $43bn (£29.7bn) offer to take over Swiss agribusiness company Syngenta.

The deal, which if completed would be the biggest ever overseas acquisition by a Chinese company, sees Davis Polk and Bar & Karrer advising Syngenta.

Davis Polk’s team is based across New York and Washington and includes corporate partners Louis Goldberg and Oliver Smith, regulatory partner John Reynolds, competition partners Ronan Harty and Jon Leibowitz and tax partner Avishai Shachar.

Simpson Thacher and Homburger are advising state-owned ChemChina. Simpson Thacher has the lead role for ChemChina outside Switzerland, with New York M&A partner Alan Klein heading the firm’s deal team alongside Houston M&A partner Christopher May, Beijing M&A partner Shaolin Luo, London corporate partner Sinead O’Shea, London competition partner David Vann.

Simpson Thacher has been advising ChemChina for over six years on various transactions.

Linklaters is advising HSBC as arranger of debt financing on the deal with London banking partner Brian Gray at the helm.

Clifford Chance is advising China CITIC Bank which is the financial adviser to ChemChina for the proposed deal. Hong Kong finance partner Maggie Lo is leading the firm’s team.

The deal marks the the latest foray by ChemChina in Europe over the past 12 months. In March, it bought Italian tyre maker Pirelli.

That mandate saw a host of firms advising including Clifford Chance, which advised ChemChina on financing for the acquisition, and Pedersoli e Associati Studio Legale and Jun He, which acted for ChemChina on M&A matters in Italy and China respectively.

The Syngenta bid is the second-largest takeover attempt in the chemicals sector over the last 12 months, after the $130bn (£88bn) Dow Chemical-DuPont merger announced in December.

That deal saw Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Weil Gotshal & Manges win roles, with Skadden advising DuPont and Weil advising Dow.

Last year US seed company Monsanto made an unsolicited $45bn (£31bn) approach for Syngenta which was rejected in May.