Create a free Manufacturing.net account to continue

ChemChina, Sinochem Executives Could be Tapped to Lead Merged Chemical Behemoth

A long-rumored merger between two Chinese chemical giants is fueling speculation about which influential, well-connected executive could be tapped to lead the combined company.

A long-rumored merger between two Chinese chemical giants is fueling speculation about which influential, well-connected executive could be tapped to lead the combined company.

Bloomberg noted last week that oversight of the potential merger of Sinochem and ChemChina — including determining a chief executive — would fall to the State Council's Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

The publication reported last year that the government planned to merge the companies as part of a sweeping initiative to consolidate and streamline state-owned businesses. The companies are reportedly worth more than $100 billion combined, but analysts suggested that a combined company could need to spin off some operations to appease regulators in its overseas markets.

Officials from both companies repeatedly told Bloomberg that a merger was not under consideration. Both are currently pursuing additional deals — ChemChina's bid to acquire Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta is pending before antitrust regulators, while Sinochem is reportedly interested in Noble Group's energy trading business.

Their merger could occur after the ChemChina-Syngenta merger is completed.

The candidates to lead a merged company are likely ChemChina chairman Ren Jianxin and Sinochem executive Ning Gaoning.

Both rose to prominence by spearheading dozens of acquisitions to turn their respective companies into massive conglomerates spanning a wide array of industries, but the similarities largely end there.

Ren worked for Chemical Machinery Research Institute before starting the BlueStar Chemical Cleaning Group more than 30 years ago.

Ning, meanwhile, was among the first Chinese business leaders to receive his MBA in the U.S., and served as an executive at China Resources Co. and Cofco Group before his promotion to Sinochem.

Experts said that Ning's past promotions would appear to tip the scales in his favor — although Ren is a formidable executive in his own right.

"Ning would likely win out against Ren in running the merged company given his political status and connections, as well as his background," London-based consultant Michal Meidan told Bloomberg.

More in Chemical Processing