ChemChina and Sinochem today announced that they are consolidating their agricultural businesses into a new holding company within ChemChina, domiciled in Shanghai, which will be called the Syngenta Group Co.
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The Group is expected to become the world’s leading agriculture inputs company, spanning crop protection, seeds, fertilizers, additional agricultural and digital technologies, as well as an advanced distribution network in China, reaching farmers nationwide.
ADAMA, Syngenta and Sinochem’s agriculture-related activities, the businesses comprising the newly-formed Group, have made significant advances in their collaboration over the last year, generating meaningful additional revenue through cross-sales and benefiting from procurement and operational savings. The forming of the Group will further bolster the alignment between the companies, and capitalize on the value creation and synergy opportunities identified.
ADAMA is becoming a distinctive member of this newly-formed industry leader through the contribution of the stake that ChemChina currently owns in ADAMA into the Group. As such, there is no change in the Company’s ultimate controlling shareholder. ADAMA will continue to be headquartered in Israel, and remain traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, as well as maintain its unique brand and positioning.
Chen Lichtenstein, President and CEO of ADAMA, was offered the position of CFO of Syngenta Group, with responsibility also for Strategy and Integration. This builds on his successful 14-year track record with ADAMA and his strong experience in capital markets. Over the past six years, Mr. Lichtenstein has led the Company as CEO to continuous strong performance and market share gains. During his tenure, ADAMA successfully combined with a publicly traded company and is now listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Prior to running ADAMA, Mr. Lichtenstein was President and CEO of ChemChina’s strategic business division China National Agrochemical Corporation (CNAC), as well as an Executive Director of Goldman Sachs in New York and London. Mr. Lichtenstein will be based in Basel, Switzerland.
Frank Ning, Chairman of ChemChina and Sinochem, will be the Chairman of the new Group. After the completion of the transfer of ADAMA’s shares into the Group, Chen Lichtenstein is expected to remain on ADAMA’s board of directors, and be joined by Erik Fyrwald, CEO of the new Group, who will replace Yang Xingqiang as Chairman.
Ignacio Dominguez, currently co-Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of ADAMA, is intended to be appointed as President and CEO of ADAMA. Mr. Dominguez is a leading crop protection industry expert, and uniquely qualified to lead ADAMA through its next phase of growth. He has been with the Company for almost 20 years and currently serves on its Executive Committee that has directed the Company’s business transformation over the last several years. Mr. Dominguez has been instrumental in crafting and implementing the Company’s global commercial and offering strategy.
Aviram Lahav, ADAMA’s CFO, is intended to be appointed as Deputy CEO of ADAMA and CEO of its wholly-owned subsidiary ADAMA Agricultural Solutions, alongside his current roles. Mr. Lahav joined Adama in 2010. Before joining Adama, he served as CEO of Synergy Cables, a publicly traded manufacturing company. He had also served as CFO, COO and eventually CEO of Delta Galil Industries over a span of 11 years. In 2000, he was awarded the Israel CFO of the Year.
Shaul Friedland, currently co-CCO of ADAMA, will be ADAMA’s sole CCO, leading the company’s commercial activities worldwide. Joe Krkoska will continue in his role as EVP, Head of Global Operations.
These appointments are expected to be formalized and take effect in the course of the first quarter.
On the announcement, ADAMA President and CEO Chen Lichtenstein said: “ADAMA has never been stronger. Our fantastic people have built together a wonderful company with clear strategy and direction, able to continuously grow and navigate confidently through the rough seas that our industry has seen in the last few years. I now move on to an interesting yet challenging role at Syngenta Group, and I look forward to bringing my ability and experience to bear. I am confident that Ignacio will continue to lead the Company to further growth and achievements, and wish him, Aviram, Shaul and Joe, as well as all of ADAMA, tremendous success in the future.”
Ignacio Dominguez, ADAMA’s CEO-designate, commented: “I am excited to be leading with my colleagues this amazing company. Having been at the company for 20 years, and part of its Management and Executive Committee for more than a decade, I look forward to continuing its strong momentum and strategic direction. We are focused on listening to and serving our customers worldwide, while pursuing new opportunities for collaboration across the Group. Together with ADAMA’s people, with their passion and commitment, I am confident that we will drive our Company forward to ever greater heights.”