Following the January 5 announcement by ChemChina and Sinochem that they are consolidating their agricultural businesses into a new holding company which will be called the Syngenta Group Co., ADAMA has today confirmed that it is entirely business as usual in the UK and that it, and sister company, Syngenta, will continue to trade completely independently of each other.
The formation of the Syngenta Group – which is expected to become the world’s leading agriculture inputs company – will further bolster the alignment between the companies, enabling them to further capitalise on the value creation and synergistic opportunities in the fields of crop protection, seeds, fertilisers and additional agricultural and digital technologies.
ADAMA becomes a key member of the newly formed group as a result of the stake that ChemChina currently holds in ADAMA. As such, there is no change in ADAMA’s ultimate controlling shareholder: ADAMA will continue to be headquartered in Israel and will continue to trade on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. ADAMA will also maintain its unique brand and positioning and will continue to trade completely independently.
Chen Lichtenstein, President and CEO of ADAMA, has been appointed as CFO of the Syngenta Group and will also be responsible 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 last six years, Mr. Lichtenstein has led ADAMA 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 become 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 will 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, will 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 ADAMA 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, will 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 has also served as CFO, COO and 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 formalised in the course of the first quarter of 2020.
On the announcement, ADAMA President and CEO Chen Lichtenstein said: “ADAMA has never been stronger. Our fantastic people have built a company with a clear strategy and direction, and which has been able to continuously grow and confidently navigate its way 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 ADAMA to further growth and achievements, and I 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 this amazing company with my colleagues. Having been at ADAMA 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. With the passion and commitment of ADAMA’s people, I am confident that we will drive our Company forward to ever greater heights.”