ROME -An Italian administrative court ruled that a government veto of the purchase of seed producer Verisem by Chinese-owned Syngenta was valid, the agrochemicals giant said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi blocked the proposed takeover in October, the second time he used the special "golden power" rules to ward off an undesired bid in a strategic industry. During 14 months in office, he has issued four vetoes.
At the time of the government's decision, Italian agriculture lobby Coldiretti said Syngenta's move would have shifted to Asia strategic control of seeds for vegetable and herb production.
Swiss-based Syngenta was bought by state-owned ChemChina for $43 billion in 2017.
“We are disappointed by the court’s decision," Syngenta said in a statement confirming what two sources close to the matter previously told Reuters.
"This decision does not impact Syngenta's existing business in Italy, where Syngenta maintains local teams and has been working with Italian growers for many years,” the group added.
The group had offered around 200 million euros ($216.24 million) to buy Verisem, sources have said.
($1 = 0.9249 euros)