Syngenta rises after Monsanto takeover talk

Michael Bow
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SYNGENTA shares had their biggest increase in six years yesterday, after investors finally got the chance to give their verdict on reports that Monsanto had offered to buy the group again.

The Swiss-agrochemical giant jumped nearly 12 per cent in early trading following last week’s report that Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed producer, had approached it for preliminary talks about a deal.

Financial newswire Bloomberg reported late on Thursday that Monsanto had resurrected proposals for a $40bn takeover of the group.

Both firms have declined to comment on the reports.

Swiss markets were closed on Friday due to a public holiday, and yesterday’s session was the first chance for trading in Syngenta shares.

Around 1.5m changed hands – nearly five times the average trading volume for the stock. Shares ended the day up 8.1 per cent.

Syngenta has underperformed in recent quarters, and shares have fallen from their 2013 highs.

Monsanto was reported to have considered a takeover of Syngenta last summer.

Prospects of a deal are understood to have been resurrected in recent weeks, as Monsanto bosses revived the idea, despite competition concerns from Syngenta.

Basel-based Syngenta and Monsanto compete in a sector dominated by German industry leaders such as Bayer and BASF and US chemical companies like Dow Chemicals.

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