Chinese buyers struggle through Cfius quagmire

Donald Trump's delay in appointing key officials is already slowing down the approval process for M&A deals in the US – even before any policy changes kick in.

Excitement and suprise greeted a decision by a key US regulatory panel to approve ChemChina's record $43 billion acquisition of Syngenta last August.

Bankers and lawyers were optimistic that the decision by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States Cfius, which came in the face of fierce criticism in the United States over the deal's impact on food security, would bode well for future deals.

That excitement faded and was replaced by concern when Donald Trump won the November presidential election on a platform full of protectionist rhetoric and anti-China tub-thumping. A handful of law firms and investment banks moved quickly to...

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