A $20.2 billion (14 billion pound) non-recourse bridge loan backing China National Chemical Corp’s (ChemChina) $44.89 billion acquisition of Swiss seeds and pesticides company Syngenta  is set to sign by April 8 after receiving a strong response from the market, banking sources said.

The loan finances the strategic M&A deal, which will ensure China's food security and is the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company.

The financing, which is being raised at Syngenta’s operating company level and was syndicated from London, was significantly oversubscribed which allowed banks' commitments to be scaled back.

“It was a big deal, we’re down inside our final hold levels, people have been scaled back and it’s a big success. We’re very happy,” a senior banker said.

Banks were originally asked to commit large tickets of $1.25 billion, which have now been reduced and all lenders including the arranging banks are now at their target hold levels.

The deal was underwritten by global co-ordinator HSBC, which was then joined by bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers China Citic Bank, Credit Suisse, Rabobank and UniCredit. The deal was then launched to senior syndication in late February.

A separate $12.7 billion, one-year recourse loan for ChemChina was launched this week in Asia. That loan is being coordinated by China Citic Bank, which has sent out a term sheet to a select group of banks.

China Citic has underwritten a total of $30 billion of debt, including the US$12.7bn syndicated loan. The remainder is likely to be taken out with new equity.

Five or six Chinese lenders are reviewing the terms of ChemChina’s loan. The banks invited are expected to have final hold levels of at least $1 billion each. China Citic is also expected to send out official invitations to several other banks.

Commitments on that loan are due on April 15. Appetite for that deal is expected to be strong from Chinese banks and some international lenders are also expected to join that deal.