The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has given a consent decree to allow the combination of the Novartis AG and AstraZeneca spin-offs into a new agrochemicals business to be called Syngenta AG.
The ruling today makes it possible for the two companies to merge their agricultural crop-protection businesses.
Before doing so, however, Novartis and AstraZeneca had to divest or license globally certain of their crop-protection products, including the sale of the Novartis fungicide Flint to Bayer and the sale of AstraZeneca's acetochlor herbicide products to Dow AgroSciences LLC.
In 1999 Novartis, a wold leader in healthcare with core businesses in pharmaceuticals, consumer health, generics, eye-care, and animal health had sales of $21.6 billion. The company invested more than $2.8 billion in research and development.
Zeneca Agrochemicals is the crop protection and plant science business of AstraZeneca. It is the fourth largest supplier to this international market with sales in 1999 of $2.7 billion.