04 March 1999
Monsanto shares rise on DuPont rumour

SHARES in Monsanto rose sharply after newspaper reports of a possible merger with the US chemicals group DuPont.

Rumours of a merger have been circulating for some time after the failure of Monsantos proposed merger with American Home Products.

Speculation has mounted because of some obvious synergies between the two companies and DuPonts statement that it wants to become involved in biotechnology.

On the agricultural genetics side, DuPont has already invested about $1.7 billion (£1bn) in a broad technology alliance with, and a minority stake in, Pioneer Hi-Breed, the largest corn supplier in North America and business rival of Monsanto.

There is obvious logic for Monsanto in a tie-up. It is smaller than many of its competitors in both pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.