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Monsanto Company (MON)

  • Wed, Jul. 15, 11:44 AM
    • A leading Syngenta (SYT +2.9%) shareholder is criticizing the company's board for excluding all but a very small group of shareholders from talks that could determine the fate of a $45B takeover bid by Monsanto (MON -0.1%), Reuters reports.
    • Henderson Global Investors says SYT had relied on a YouTube video to communicate with other investors, a "short-sighted" strategy that likely will prove counter-productive in SYT's attempt to thwart its U.S. suitor.
    • "The most recent proposal by Monsanto is credible and deserves serious consideration," a letter from the SYT's 20th biggest shareholder reportedly says.
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  • Tue, Jul. 14, 5:02 PM
    • John Paulson's hedge fund has taken a significant stake in Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) in a sign of support for Monsanto's (NYSE:MON) $45B takeover offer, Bloomberg reports.
    • The stake, which has not been publicly disclosed, reportedly may put Paulson & Co. among the 20 largest shareholders in SYT, but it is not clear if Paulson will go public with his stake and his support of a merger.
    • Paulson has a reputation for using his hedge fund to take large positions in companies engaged in ongoing merger discussions and voicing his support for a transaction.
    • SYT +1.7% AH.
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  • Fri, Jul. 10, 9:50 AM
    • Monsanto (MON +1.2%) likely will refrain from making another move on Syngenta (SYT +4.1%) until after July 23 when SYT reports H1 results, Bloomberg reports, hoping for a weak quarter that would provide MON with fresh ammunition for its buyout case.
    • A strong set of numbers would help support SYT’s dismissal of the deal, which it has called simplistic and doomed to fail with regulators, but MON would look to highlight SYT’s under-performance over recent years.
    • SYT’s results likely will suffer from the challenging market affecting other seeds and crop-chemical makers.
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  • Wed, Jun. 24, 3:49 PM
    • Monsanto (MON -5.1%) is sharply lower after issuing a cautious outlook for the next quarter, as well as 2016 and beyond, and perhaps on investor concerns about its new offer to Syngenta, which now includes a new $2B reverse break-up fee to be paid if the companies fail to obtain needed regulatory approvals.
    • "Expectations are being tempered," Edward Jones analyst Matt Arnold says, noting that MON's FQ3 earnings gain was driven by a one-time licensing payment from Scotts Miracle Gro, which sells MON's signature Roundup weed killer to consumers.
    • Monsanto continues to grapple with a downturn in the agricultural economy as farmers in tighten spending after two consecutive bumper harvests hiked global supplies and weighed on corn and soybean prices; “We expect many of these headwinds to continue into fiscal 2016," MON President Brett Begemann said in today's earnings call.
    • MON is “acknowledging that this is an agriculture bear market that is going to continue,” says Monness Crespi analyst Chris Shaw.
    • On Syngenta, CEO Hugh Grant implored investors to appeal to its board to engage in deal talks, but the window for a deal “is measured in months, not years.”
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  • Wed, Jun. 3, 12:55 PM
    • BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) is considering a potential offer for Syngenta (SYT +4.4%), and is speaking to investment bankers about the possibility of an offer, according to a Reuters report.
    • SYT so far has spurned a $45B takeover offer from Monsanto (MON -0.3%), but lawyers representing the two companies reportedly have met to discuss whether regulatory obstacles can be overcome.
  • Wed, May 20, 10:16 AM
    • Monsanto (MON -0.9%) elaborates on its proposed acquisition of Syngenta (SYT +2.3%), saying it is committed to divesting SYT's entire seed business to win regulatory approval for a merger.
    • The deal also would include the sale of some overlapping chemical operations, MON says in a statement ahead of an investor presentation by COO Brett Begemann.
    • MON says the combination of the two companies would create substantial cost savings, enhance research and development, and offer farmers a more diverse range of products and services.
    • For its part, SYT reiterates that MON's proposal "fundamentally undervalues" its prospects and pipeline, and that MON's latest assurances were already considered and rejected by SYT's board.
  • Thu, May 14, 3:05 PM
    • Monsanto (MON +1.7%) is trying to line up buyers for assets worth up to $8B to appease regulators before making a new takeover approach for Syngenta (SYT +1.7%), possibly within three weeks, Reuters reports, citing industry sources.
    • MON reportedly will tap Germany's BASF (OTCQX:BASFY, OTCPK:BFFAF), an existing joint venture partner, as it seeks a buyer for SYT's U.S. seeds business, which cannot be part of its proposed takeover.
    • SYT's seeds business could be worth $6B-$8B, and likely would need to be sold because authorities are expected to block MON from adding to its dominance of the U.S. soy and corn seeds market.
  • Fri, May 8, 2:53 PM
    • Major investors in Syngenta (SYT +11.7%) are confident a deal with Monsanto (MON +1.6%) will happen if the U.S. company raises its initial $45B bid by at least 10%, Reuters reports.
    • "A full cash offer at 450 francs or a 50/50 stock and cash offer at 500 francs would suit us at first sight, [but] we will deepen our analysis in the coming days," a top SYT investor reportedly says.
    • Despite having some unique assets, SYT's management had "over-promised and under-delivered," so a deal would be welcome as long as the price got closer to 500 Swiss francs, according to another investor.
    • The two biggest SYT investors are asset managers BlackRock and Capital Research Global Investors, both with a combined stake across their various funds of ~5%; at a fund level, the biggest investor is the Harbor International Fund, which holds a 2.7% stake.
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  • Fri, May 8, 12:25 PM
    • Monsanto’s (MON +2.3%) rejected $45B bid for Syngenta (SYT +9.7%) forces the suitor to ask itself the same hard question as disappointed shareholders of the target company: Is Syngenta worth more?
    • Deutsche Bank's Virginie Boucher-Ferte believes the deal likely will get done but at a higher price and/or a higher cash component in order to better take into account the execution risk.
    • Even at 500 Swiss francs/share vs. the current 449 Swiss francs/share offer, the analyst thinks the deal would be earnings accretive for MON due to the significant synergy potential, low interest rates, and the low Swiss corporate tax rate which would benefit MON.
    • Regulatory risks are "not insurmountable," Boucher-Ferte says, noting SYT's relatively small 8% global market share in seeds.
  • Fri, May 8, 10:15 AM
    • Monsanto (MON +3.8%) confirms it has offered a takeover deal for Syngenta (SYT +12.1%) which it believes would deliver "significant value to shareholders of both companies" and generate "substantial synergies."
    • Monsanto says it made a private proposal to SYT's board to acquire the company for 449 Swiss francs per share, including ~45% cash.
    • MON also says it is confident in its ability to obtain all necessary regulatory approvals for a takeover.
    • SYT rejected MON's offer in a statement that said it undervalues the company.
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  • Thu, May 7, 4:15 PM
    • Syngenta (SYT +6.1%) spiked into the close following a Reuters report that the company is working with Goldman Sachs to assess the merits of a potential takeover deal by Monsanto (MON +2.4%), which is said to have hired Morgan Stanley as its adviser.
    • MON long has been interested in SYT and the potential to base itself in Switzerland and benefit from lower taxes, but with the U.S. attempting to clamp down on such tax inversion deals, MON may have to buy SYT in a cash rather than stock transaction and would be unable to redomicile in Switzerland - a tall order that could require the need of a partner before launching a takeover bid that could cost as much as $40B.
    • MON approached SYT last year about some sort of combination, and rumors of talks between the two have picked up in the past week.
  • Fri, May 1, 7:59 AM
    • Antitrust issues regarding a potential Monsanto (NYSE:MON) and Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) combination would "not be insurmountable," Deutsche Bank analysts say, following reports late yesterday that MON again has approached SYT about a takeover.
    • Although MON is no. 1 globally in seeds and SYN is no. 3, SYT’s market share is relatively small at 8% vs. MON's 25%, the firm says; SYT's seeds business is perceived as the weak spot after recent problems in its U.S. corn business, the firm says, so the market would not see a problem if some of SYT’s seeds assets had to be divested as a prerequisite for a deal.
    • SYT +16%, MON +3.6% premarket.
  • Thu, Apr. 30, 4:55 PM
    • Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) +12.6% AH after Bloomberg reports it has been approached by Monsanto (NYSE:MON) about a possible takeover.
    • Combined with SYT, MON would become the largest player in the world for both seeds and crop chemicals and a formidable competitor to Bayer (OTCPK:BAYZF, OTCPK:BAYRY), BASF (OTCQX:BASFY, OTCPK:BFFAF) and Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW).
    • Reports last year had said the companies held preliminary talks with advisers about a combination before SYT management decided against negotiations.
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  • Mon, Mar. 23, 12:35 PM
    • Origin Agritech (SEED +24.5%) soars in a move attributed to a WSJ article discussing China's desire to develop a local seed company, potentially through a renewed bid for SEED, which controls the rights to China's first genetically modified corn.
    • SEED last year rejected a $60B takeover bid from China's state-backed Hunan Xindaxin but its top executives believe another attempt is coming, as China looks to find a way to can keep foreign giants such as Monsanto (NYSE:MON), DuPont (NYSE:DD) and Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) at bay while significantly increasing the country’s spending on R&D.
    • China is the world’s second largest seed market but limits foreign producers to minority stakes in joint ventures, and its domestic seed makers are too small and scattered for the government to corral in pursuit of controlling the biotechnology that underpins the competitive power of global seed manufacturers.
  • Oct. 2, 2014, 2:59 PM
    • Fertilizer producers are mostly lower after Agrium (AGU -1.9%) announced weak guidance for H2 of its FY 2014: POT -2%, MOS -0.9%, OTCPK:YARIY -2.8%, IPI -2.3%, RNF -1.2%, but CF +2.4%.
    • Canaccord and Piper Jaffray downwardly revised their 12-month price targets for the stock, by a respective 1.9% to $102 while reiterating a Buy rating and by 4.2% to $92 while maintaining a Neutral rating; however, BMO and RBC each reiterated their Outperform ratings on the stock with respective target prices of $99 and $115.
    • Jim Cramer thinks AGU's woes could reverberate throughout the ag sector, at least in the near-term, with selling possibly spread to the likes of Monsanto (MON -0.4%), Syngenta (SYT +0.1%), Deere (DE +0.1%) and Agco (AGCO +1%).
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  • Sep. 10, 2014, 12:59 PM
    • Monsanto (MON -1.5%) moves off earlier lows prompted by a report from OTR Global warning that weak Intacta demand is unlikely to absorb supply.
    • Seed dealers and producers in Brazil and Argentina report weaker than expected sales of the genetically engineered soybeans, OTR says in cutting its rating on MON to Negative from Mixed.
    • A MON spokesperson disputes those conclusions, saying Intacta demand is on pace to reach a goal of 10M-12M acres this year and pre-pays are greater than expected.
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Company Description
Monsanto Co is a provider of agricultural products for farmers. The Company offers corn, soybean, cotton, wheat, canola, sorghum and sugar cane seeds. Its segments are Seeds and Genomics and Agricultural Productivity.