Monsanto tried to buy-out one of its biggest competitors on the biotech scene with a $46 billion bid – it was for Syngenta. Then Monsanto tried to acquire Bayer Crop Sciences. But after the company’s recent dismal stock earnings report, the CEO says that big deals are out.
ChemChina ended up winning Syngenta over Monsanto for $43 billion, and though a merger between Monsanto and Syngenta or ChemChina and Syngenta still represents a hyper-consolidation in the global seed and agrochemical market, Monsanto’s cold feet attest to a plausible down-turn in the aggressive take-over of the world’s seed and food.
Monsanto was also trying to merge with Swiss agrichemical company, Syngenta, in order to avoid paying taxes, since the company is now based in St. Louis Missouri, and the merger would have allowed them to claim a ‘home’ base in Switzerland. As we learned just this week, however, the Obama administration just halted the biggest pharmaceutical company merger in history – between Allergan and Pfizer – for the same reason.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Monsanto has abandoned efforts to pursue large-scale deals, instead charting an independent path amid a steep downturn in the agricultural business – but the company is likely trying to avoid the expense of a merger gone sour. Pfizer will have to pay Allergan $400 million for pulling out of their deal. Considering Monsanto’s latest stock earnings reports, those several million aren’t such a drop in the pan anymore.
Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s CEO, is also reeling from the EU pulling the company’s best-selling product from re-registration. This means that until regulators in the EU decide otherwise, Monsanto can no longer sell Roundup, the herbicide which has been a backbone of the company’s global sales.
With GM seed sales also missing targets, and more people demanding organic food than ever, it’s no wonder that Monsanto was looking for a way to avoid paying taxes, even though the mega-corp still made $745 million in GM corn sales alone this year.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.