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WASHINGTON, US: Agriculture and seed giant Monsanto dropped its campaign to acquire rival Syngenta on Wednesday, saying the Swiss company refused to engage after repeated efforts to spur talks.
©Danil Chepko via 123RF
Monsanto said it would focus on its core business after Syngenta rejected a sweetened August 18 bid that included a much higher breakup fee in case the deal was blocked by regulators.

Monsanto in April launched its proposal for the Swiss company, offering 449 Swiss francs for a transaction it said would bolster the US company's prowess at developing new seed technologies. However, Syngenta quickly rebuffed the offer, calling it "inadequate," in part, due to a $2 billion breakup fee that the Swiss company said underestimated the regulatory scrutiny the deal would engender based on antitrust concerns.

Monsanto said the August 18 offer would have amounted to 470 francs per share overall, including a 245 franc cash component. The proposal also lifted the breakup fee to $3 billion.

Monsanto said it still believes the two companies would have "benefited from substantial synergies, significant cash earnings per share accretion... as well as a responsible capital structure." However, it concluded it had no choice but to drop the deal "without a basis for constructive engagement from Syngenta."

In morning trade, US-listed Syngenta shares plunged 13.7 percent to $66.42, while Monsanto jumped 7.4 percent to $96.02.

Source: AFP
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