(Bloomberg) -- Monsanto Co. could collaborate with BASF SE to make a counter bid for Syngenta AG, the Swiss pesticide maker being acquired by China National Chemical Corp., according to research company Manalo LLP.
Seed-maker Monsanto, which withdrew in August a cash-and- stock offer valuing Syngenta at $47 billion after the Basel- based company rebuffed its approach, risks being eclipsed by competitors as the global agrochemicals industry consolidates. U.S. companies Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. struck a deal in December to merge, while in February ChemChina, as the company is known, trumped St Louis-based Monsanto with an agreement to buy Syngenta for $43 billion in cash.
Monsanto will probably lobby against the ChemChina deal and may yet counter bid “out of desperation,” according to a statement from London-based Manalo, summarizing the 38-page research report.
Monsanto could make an offer through a stock and cash inversion, teaming up with BASF, the world’s biggest chemical maker, which would buy Syngenta’s seeds business, Manalo said. Such a deal would give Syngenta’s shareholders a premium to ChemChina’s offer, it said.
“At current share prices, and with a reasonable chance that Monsanto is currently assessing its options to counterbid, the deal risks are skewed to favor” a rise in the Syngenta share price, said Rod Manalo, chief executive officer of Manalo. He previously worked as a strategist at Jefferies Group and Deutsche Bank AG before starting the advisory to hedge funds and institutional investors , according to the company’s website.
Syngenta shares rose 0.5 percent at 403.10 Swiss francs in Zurich. Representatives of Syngenta and BASF declined to comment on the contents of the report.
It’s “pure speculation,” Monsanto said in a statement. The agrochemicals and seeds company is focused on a “stand-alone growth plan” and is not lobbying against the proposed deals by competitors.
“These are decisions appropriately in the hands of the regulators,” Monsanto said.
Concerns about potential security hurdles in the U.S. have weighed on Syngenta’s stock, which is trading below Monsanto’s offer, estimated by Manalo at 443 Swiss francs per share. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States will probably be unable to block the deal as there are no classified relationships between Syngenta and the U.S. government, according to Manalo.
--With assistance from Carolynn Look and Lydia Mulvany.
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