Monsanto caught in a storm

11 November 1999

Monsanto caught in a storm

MONSANTO, the US life sciences group at the centre of the controversy over genetically modified (GM) crops, is vulnerable to takeover, according to the Financial Times.

It says the groups biotechnology business ‘one of three activities, along with agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals’ is a cause for concern.

This operation is described as in “clear trouble” because of European, and now, and potentially far more damaging, increasing US concerns about genetically modified crops.

On the financial side, it is bearing a debt burden from the $8bn acquisition spree which secured its place in the biotech sector.

The newspaper speculates that Monsanto could face either a merger or dismemberment to release its Searle pharmaceutical arm.

Reports earlier this week said Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis was planning to buy Monsanto.

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