Syngenta considers new partners

<p>The swiss agribusiness is seeking new ways to enhance its product offering.</p>

Agricultural business Syngenta may seek out partners to help improve its product offering, it has emerged.

Following a rebuffed takeover approach from Monsanto Co, the Swiss business has carried out a thorough review of its portfolio in an effort to establish a strategy for improving its product offering.

The group's chairman, Michel Demare, told a Swiss newspaper that the board is under pressure to demonstrate how it plans to generate value after the Monsanto deal fell through, reports Reuters.

Monsanto had offered a $47 billion (£30.54 billion) cash-and-share offer, but Syngenta believes that undervalued the company and had too great an execution risk.

Mr Demare told Finanz und Wirtschaft that it was too soon to discuss how his company plans to improve results.

"We will subject our product portfolio to a total review, especially on the seed side. Then we will see if there are appropriate transactions to improve ourselves, perhaps with partnerships and joint ventures," he explained.

He acknowledged that there were some strategies that could be considered to improve the business in the short term, but indicated that long-term results were much more important.

"What we do not want is to improve earnings in the short term at the expense of the future. We must remain responsible," he said.

Unhappy shareholders

Mr Demare said that he had no concerns about activist shareholders, adding that there were no immediate plans to create a group of core investors from the firm's fragmented investor base.

​Some investors were unhappy that Syngenta did not open into talks with Monsanto, following the offer.

According to Mr Demare, the company had to "explain ourselves, regain trust and deliver results". He also called the prices Monsanto had offered per share – first 449 Swiss francs (£302.95), and then 470 Swiss francs – an "illusion", adding that it would have taken 18 months to complete the deal.

On Friday (August 28th), in Zurich, Syngenta shares fell 18 per cent following the announcement that Monsanto was abandoning its offer, although Mr Demare pointed out that the stock was still slightly above the level it had been at when Monsanto had first approached the firm – and that rivals' shares were down by as much as one-fifth.

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