Monsanto set to press ahead with Syngenta takeover plan: source

Fri May 8, 2015 4:32pm EDT
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By Pamela Barbaglia and Alexander Hübner

(Reuters) - U.S. agrochemicals firm Monsanto (MON.N: Quote) has not given up on a proposed takeover of Swiss rival Syngenta SYNN.VX, a source close to Monsanto said on Friday after its $45 billion offer was rejected.

It is still working on the deal and could decide to increase its initial bid which valued the firm at 449 Swiss francs a share, a 36 percent premium to Thursday's closing price.

A deal would give Monsanto, which dominates the market for seeds and genetically-modified crops, access to lucrative crop protection chemicals and create an industry behemoth with combined sales of more than $31 billion.

Syngenta rebuffed the cash-and-shares offer, saying it undervalued its prospects and did not fully take into account regulatory risks.

But the Swiss firm does not consider the deal dead, according to another source, who is familiar with Syngenta.

Monsanto, which earlier confirmed it had made an offer, declined to comment on whether it would improve the bid.

A spokesman for Syngenta declined to comment.

Meanwhile, major investors in Syngenta told Reuters that they were confident a deal with Monsanto would come off if the U.S. firm upped its initial $45 billion bid by at least 10 percent.   Continued...

Swiss agrochemicals maker Syngenta's logo is seen in front of the headquarters in Basel  February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann