10 December 1998
Zeneca to flog off agribusiness?

A QUESTIONMARK hangs over the future of Zenecas agribusiness following the announcement of the groups merger with Swedish pharmaceuticals group Astra, reports the Financial Times.

Agribusiness makes up 30% of the Zenecas sales, but only 20% of profits. Since Astra has no agricultural exposure, there is speculation that the agribusiness division would be put up for sale.

Zenecas agribusiness lags behind Novartis of Switzerland and Monsanto of the USA in the size stakes but, with sales of about $3 billion (£1.8bn), it would carry a price tag of $5bn (£3bn).

Zenecas agricultural arm has been slow to move into biotechnology, where Monsanto and Novartis have paid heavily to achieve significant positions.

  • Zeneca merger threatens jobs, boosts shares, FWi, yesterday (10 December, 1998)
  • The Times 10/12/98 page 27, page 30 (Stock Market), page 31 (Analysis)
  • The Independent 10/12/98 page 20
  • Financial Times 10/12/98 page 19 (Leader), page 19 (Observer), 20 (Lex), page 21, page 28
  • The Guardian 10/12/98 page 25 (Notebook), page 27
  • The Daily Telegraph 10/12/98 page 27, page 39 (City Comment)
  • The Herald 10/12/98 page 24, page 25 (Business Comment)