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Wed, Feb. 3, 2:45 PM
- Monsanto (MON +1.6%) says it received import approval from China for its new genetically modified Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, and that it will begin selling the seeds in the U.S. and Canada.
- MON's next-generation soybean variety is engineered to tolerate applications of glyphosate and dicamba herbicides amid a growing problem of glyphosate-resistant weeds in North America.
- Dicamba use is allowed in Canada but not yet approved in the U.S., where it is still under review by the EPA.
Wed, Feb. 3, 2:07 AM
- ChemChina is offering to buy Switzerland's Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) in a deal worth more than $43B - a move that would translate into the largest ever international takeover by a Chinese company.
- Syngenta's board has recommended the 480 francs per share deal (a 20% premium based on Tuesday's closing price) to shareholders.
- If completed, the transaction would help ChemChina transform into the world's biggest supplier of pesticides and agrochemicals, while snatching an asset that was once the target of St. Louis-based Monsanto (NYSE:MON).
- SYT +3.7% premarket
- Previously: WSJ: ChemChina nears deal to buy controlling stake in Syngenta (Feb. 02 2016)
Fri, Jan. 29, 4:35 PM
Tue, Jan. 26, 8:05 AM
- CTFN Contributor Valeria Camerino reports that market observers believe ChemChina's CHF470 (US$462) per share bid ($44B) for 70% of Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) is more likely to pass antitrust scrutiny than a potential merger with Monsanto (NYSE:MON) because there is less overlap. A deal could be reached as soon as next month.
- In December, Syngenta's board turned down Monsanto's $47B offer stating that it significantly undervalued the firm.
- ChemChina is a major player in generic pesticides, but has no appreciable footprint in high-tech herbicides, insecticides, fungicides or seeds. Also Chinese ownership would enhance penetration in key emerging markets. A bump in the road, however, could be the purchase of Syngenta's U.S.-based assets by a Chinese acquirer.
- Syngenta is an attractive target on the basis of its seeds business and first rate crop protection chemicals portfolio. It is the only pure play in Europe in these areas.
- As far as Monsanto is concerned, one observer believes it makes more strategic sense for Syngenta to acquire Monsanto and dispose of the crop protection chemicals business and any required seeds assets, along with the related salesforce and technical support. He feels that Monsanto would be better served by merging with BASF's (OTCQX:BASFY) crop chemical business.
- Previously: Bloomberg: ChemChina moves closer to potential Syngenta deal (Jan. 15)
- Previously: Syngenta talking with Monsanto, ChemChina and others, chairman says (Dec. 22, 2015)
Thu, Jan. 21, 7:12 PM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) files a lawsuit in California seeking to prevent glyphosate, the main ingredient in its Roundup herbicide, from being added to the state's list of known carcinogens.
- MON says it filed the suit against the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, which said in September that it planned to add glyphosate to the list after the World Health Organization classified it as a probable human carcinogen.
- MON's lawsuit argues that listing glyphosate as a carcinogen based on the WHO's classification cedes regulatory authority to an "unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable, and foreign body" that is not subject to oversight by any state or federal entity.
Wed, Jan. 13, 5:56 PM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) says it expects to begin construction in March of a $140M cottonseed processing plant in Lubbock, Tex., to serve as its U.S. hub for the company’s commercial cottonseed processing operations.
- MON's head of cotton manufacturing says the new facility will boost collaboration and efficiency, while its location in Lubbock will "allow for better alignment with the cotton industry.”
- MON expects to complete the plant in H2 2017.
Wed, Jan. 6, 2:19 PM
- Monsanto (MON -1.8%) CEO Hugh Grant says a deepening decline in the agricultural industry has strengthened the rationale for combining the company, the world’s largest seller of seeds, with Syngenta (SYT -2.2%), the top seller of pesticides, but engagement about a possible merger has been “difficult."
- In today's earnings conference call, Grant did not elaborate on the difficulty in engaging SYT, but said MON still sees a "significant opportunity" through integrating SYT's pesticide portfolio and that MON's pipeline of crop genes, high-performing seeds and new computer-powered farming services make the company a prime partner for merger deals.
- SYT CFO and interim CEO John Ramsay had said in an interview last month that the company was discussing possible deals with “a number of parties” and signaled new openness to discussing a deal with MON.
- Earlier: Monsanto to cut more jobs as Q4 sales slide, 2016 EPS outlook trimmed
Wed, Jan. 6, 9:11 AM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) -2.3% premarket after reporting better than expected Q1 earnings but disappointing revenues as corn sales weakened in Latin America.
- MON lowers its FY 2016 EPS guidance to the lower half of its prior guidance range of $5.10-$5.60, vs. $5.27 analyst consensus estimate, partly due to the recent devaluation of the Argentine peso.
- MON also raises the number of jobs it expects to cut as part of a restructuring plan to 3,600, or 16% of the global workforce, from 2,600 announced in October; the latest cuts will result in $1.1B-$1.2B in restructuring charges, more than previously expected charges of $850M-$900M.
- MON says Q4 soybean sales rose 11% Y/Y to $438M, as U.S. farmers have dedicated more fields to soybeans in pursuit of higher profits; sales in the ag productivity segment, which includes Roundup brand weed killer, fell to $820M from $1.25B a year earlier.
Wed, Jan. 6, 8:03 AM
Tue, Jan. 5, 5:30 PM
Dec. 22, 2015, 2:57 PM
- Syngenta (SYT +4.1%) is in talks with Monsanto (MON +2.1%), ChemChina and others but has not received a concrete takeover offer and is keeping all options open, Chairman Michel Demare says.
- SYT's board, which this year rebuffed a takeover offer from MON, is considering making an acquisition, merging with a rival or selling the company, according to Demare.
- "Given what shareholders expect for the next 12 months, going it alone is hardly possible," Demare says, explaining that SYT could move ahead on its own but shareholders currently lack the patience to wait for a cyclical upswing; sector consolidation also is adding pressure to act, he says.
- Earlier: Syngenta upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies, as warm weather a boost
- Earlier: Syngenta open to deals with rivals including Monsanto, CEO says (Dec. 18)
Dec. 18, 2015, 12:17 PM
- Interim Syngenta (SYT +2.1%) CEO John Ramsay tells Dow Jones the company is discussing possible deals with "a number of parties" and is open to combinations with companies including Monsanto (MON +0.9%).
- While Ramsay says MON has not revived its $46B takeover effort that was abandoned in August, his comment that SYT is "interested in any value-adding opportunity that exists for us in this industry, which includes Monsanto and many others" marks a notable departure from its earlier stand.
- Last week's merger between DuPont (DD -0.7%) and Dow Chemical (DOW -0.4%) removed two potential partners for SYT and eventually could pose a greater competitive threat in the ~$100B global seed and pesticide industry.
Dec. 15, 2015, 8:51 AM
- Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) +1.3% premarket following a Bloomberg report that ChemChina Chairman Ren Jianxin met with execs from Syngenta (SYT) in Europe last week.
- ChemChina is said to be discussing a revised proposal to acquire SYT after its previous cash offer of 449 Swiss francs/share ($457) was deemed too low.
- Bloomberg also reports that SYT also is holding informal talks about a combination with Monsanto (NYSE:MON), almost four months after rejecting the latter’s $46.6B takeover offer; MON also is considering opportunities to acquire crop chemical assets from other companies.
- Pressure is rising for SYT to do a deal in the aftermath of the Dow-DuPont merger agreement, and SYT also is likely to evaluate buying assets that may come up for sale as a result of the merger.
Dec. 11, 2015, 7:07 PM
- Farm groups are calling for regulators to closely scrutinize the proposed merger of Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) and DuPont that could give the companies more clout in the markets for seeds and pesticides.
- Chemicals and materials businesses would comprise most of DowDuPont's revenues, but the markets for those products tend to be fragmented; the combined companies' agriculture business would boast big market shares, such as 41% of sales of U.S. corn seeds and related genetics vs. DuPont’s current 35% and Dow’s 6%.
- Also, the merger could cause further deals among the six companies that currently dominate the global market for seed and crop chemicals, a group that also includes Monsanto (NYSE:MON), Syngenta (NYSE:SYT), Bayer (OTCPK:BAYZF, OTCPK:BAYRY) and BASF (OTCQX:BASFY).
- But Dow and DuPont do not appear to expect antitrust problems; DuPont CEO Ed Breen says the companies plan to divest only modestly - “nothing that would move the needle."
Dec. 9, 2015, 12:10 PM
- Any merger between Dow Chemical (DOW +10.5%) and DuPont (DD +12.6%) would have far-reaching consequences for European rivals, prompting a series of moves as pesticide and seed makers scramble to face a combined U.S. giant.
- A merger would make it more likely that Monsanto (MON +0.2%) re-approaches Syngenta (SYT +7.7%), Bernstein analysts say, speculating that a new bid could come in at 485 Swiss francs, more than the 470 cash-and-stock offer withdrawn in August.
- The pressure on MON to defend its position as the biggest seeds player would be "huge" as chemical companies will want to defend or even strengthen their market positions, says MM Warburg's Oliver Schwarz.
- Regulatory hurdles to a merger would require the combined company to sell off some businesses, likely sparking interest from contenders such as BASF (OTCQX:BASFY -0.1%), Schwarz says. “All the big companies that are swimming in this pond would probably be interested in taking over assets that Dow or DuPont would sell."
Dec. 7, 2015, 2:40 PM
Monsanto Co along with its subsidiaries provides agricultural products for farmers. Its seeds, biotechnology traits, herbicides and precision agriculture products provide farmers with solutions that improve productivity.
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