You have to admire their persistence even if you despise their goals and methodology. Monsanto continues to pursue Syngenta in a buy out that most would have considered impossible in the past but that seems to be on the verge of happening today. The final roadblock could be going through the books and coming up with a value that will woo the shareholders.
This isn’t their first attempt to buy Syngenta. In 2011 and 2012, the genetically modified food giant, maker of Roundup and Roundup Ready seeds, made modest offers to buy the #3 seed company in the world. Those offers were summarily rejected, as have been the latest string of 2015, but it’s looking like the deal might actually work if the numbers are right. Monsanto is willing to pay a premium for the stocks, something they weren’t willing to do in the past. Now, shareholders wait to see if Monsanto will be granted access to the books so they can look for more cost-savings in order to raise their bid.
The real test will come after a deal is struck. While under most perspectives this would take the largest company in the field and merge it with the third largest, thus creating a monopoly potential, there are already rumors that lobbyists are planting the seeds that could allow such a clear anti-trust issue to slide through many government agencies. In other words, they may be able to work their way past a clearly bad deal in exchange for flexing their political and financial clout in the right way with the right people.
As Reuters reports, they’re pressuring the board by calling on Syngenta’s investors:
In a June 6 letter to Syngenta management published by Monsanto, the U.S. company’s Chief Executive Hugh Grant expressed “disappointment with the pace of progress” of exploratory talks.