Agriculture firm Monsanto drops hostile bid for Syngenta

The world’s biggest seed producer Monsanto has surprisingly dropped its sweetened US$46bn (£30bn) hostile bid for Swiss-based Syngenta to create a seeds and agrochemicals giant.

Monsanto’s disclosure late Wednesday (26 August) brings to an end to its four-month pursuit of Syngenta, with the US group now saying it will focus on building its core business.

See also: Syngenta sees growth ahead without Monsanto merger

Only last week, Monsanto had raised its bid for Syngenta, but the Swiss group argued that this and previous offers not only undervalued it but were fraught with risk.

A combination of the two would have created a group with a third of the world market for seeds and the globe’s biggest maker of agrochemicals, and would have likely prompted the sell-off of parts of the combination to get approval from world regulators.

This was the third time since 2011 that Monsanto has tried to buy Syngenta to create a world leader in seeds and agrochemicals with more than US$30bn (£20bn) in annual sales, but each time its bid has been rejected.

Monsanto, which sells glyphosate herbicide Roundup and oilseed rape varieties such as Extrovert and Exalte, was keen to create a global leader in both pesticides and seeds.

Syngenta, which sells fungicides such as Seguris and Bravo and winter wheat varieties Reflection and Gallant, is already number one globally in pesticides and third in seeds.

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