Syngenta rejects second Monsanto bid

Swiss-based agricultural and chemical company Syngenta says that it has rejected a second takeover approach by America’s Monsanto.

Syngenta said it received another letter from Monsanto on Saturday 6 June, which repeated the company’s earlier offer to acquire Syngenta for about $45 billion, which was rejected in May partly due to potential regulatory concerns. According to reports, the latest offer added a $2 billion breakup fee if the merger proved unpalatable to regulators, which Syngenta described as “wholly inadequate” and “paltry.”

“Monsanto’s second letter represents the same inadequate price, same inadequate regulatory undertakings to close, same regulatory risks and same issues associated with dual headquarters’ moves,” Syngenta said in a news release. “As such, we have reiterated our prior rejection of Monsanto’s proposal.”

In its latest letter Monsanto said: “As a sign of our high degree of confidence in obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals, we are willing to commit to a reverse break-up fee of $2bn payable if we are unable to consummate the transaction for antitrust reasons within 18 months. Such a fee would be among the highest reverse break-up fees that any company has agreed to.”

The US company says that its current bid represents 15.8 times Syngenta’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) for 2014, a “significantly higher” figure than seen in other deals in the sector.

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