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Bloomberg: Monsanto says it no longer sees `large-scale' M&A as a strategy

Monsanto will instead focus on research and development and commercial partnerships.

by Lydia Mulvany

Monsanto Co. said it no longer sees "large-scale" mergers and acquisitions as a strategy, signaling the end of any lingering ambition to make another bid for Syngenta AG or another major crop-chemicals or seeds business.

Speaking Wednesday on the St. Louis-based company’s second-quarter earnings call, Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant said Monsanto will instead focus on research and development as well as commercial partnerships to generate growth.

Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant. (Photo: Bryan Thomas/GettyImages)

“We believe the industry will continue to rationalize, focusing investment to the higher-return options,” he said. “We now see this translating into further R&D or commercial partnerships for which we are uniquely positioned to participate and no longer see large-scale M&A as a likely opportunity.”

Monsanto was exploring potential deals with BASF SE and Bayer AG, people with knowledge of the matter said in March. Monsanto’s unsolicited $43.6 billion proposal to acquire Syngenta AG, the world’s largest pesticide producer, was rejected by the Swiss company in August.

Related: Monsanto can't pressure BASF or Bayer into a takeover: Gadfly

China National Chemical Corp. said in February that it reached a deal to buy Syngenta, the biggest deal so far in what is a wave of consolidation in the seed and crop-chemical industry. Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. announced in December they would merge before breaking into three separate entities, including a Monsanto-sized agriculture company.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Lydia Mulvany in Chicago at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Simon Casey at [email protected]

Millie Munshi

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P

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