5 June 1998

Monsanto in AHP merger

US agricultural products and biotechnology group Monsato is being merged into drugs and pharmaceutical giant American Home Products in a deal which will form a life sciences company worth $96bn (£58.5bn).

Under the deal, AHP, which owns animal health and crop protection company American Cyanamid, will take a 65% stake in Monsato, which also has interests in pharmaceuticals and food ingredients

AHP chairman, John Stafford, and Monsanto chairman, Robert Shapiro, say the merger will secure the strong financial, research and global marketing resources needed in the rapidly consolidating and competitive life sciences industry.

The as-yet-unnamed company to be created by the deal is expected to generate sales worth $23bn (£14bn) this year. Pharmaceuticals will account for about half of that, and agriculture about $6bn (£3.65bn).

The move puts the firm ahead of previous life-science leader Novartis, and extends its lead over other players such as DuPont, AgrEvo, Bayer, Rhone-Poulenc and Zeneca.

Patrick Huguet, head of rival Novartis north-west Europe division, says other mergers will certainly follow, but adds that his company has no immediate plans to react, preferring to wait until monopoly investigations are completed. &#42