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ChemChina Offers $3 Billion for Nufarm: AFR

China National Chemical Corp, or ChemChina, and Blackstone Group have offered A$3.4 billion ($3 billion) for Australian farm chemicals group Nufarm, the Australian Financial Review reported on Friday, citing no sources.

Nufarm spokesman Robert Reis declined to comment.

Nufarm said on Thursday it had received a letter tied to earlier takeover talks but did not say who it was from, and said it would say more by Monday, Nov. 5.

A Hong Kong newspaper reported this week that China National BlueStar, which is 20 percent owned by Blackstone and 80 percent owned by ChemChina, was revising a $2.7 billion, or A$17.10 a share, offer that Nufarm had rejected.

Nufarm shares last traded at A$15.60 on Wednesday, up 13 percent after the Chinese newspaper report. The shares have been on a trading halt since Thursday.

Several other pesticide companies and private equity groups are seen as potential suitors for Nufarm, the world's No.2 generic farm chemicals company behind Israel's Makhteshim Agan Industries.

Analysts have speculated that Makhteshim, also known as MA Industries, and U.S. agrichemicals giant Monsanto, would have the best fit with Nufarm.

Other potential bidders named include buyout funds Bain Capital and Advantage Partners, which lost out in the recent sale of Japanese firm Arysta LifeScience Corp to European private equity firm Permira for $2.2 billion.

Nufarm is being advised Goldman Sachs JBWere, an industry source said.

ChemChina is being advised by Merrill Lynch, according to the Australian Financial Review.