The agricultural and chemical giant Syngenta said Monday that it had rejected a second takeover approach from Monsanto, its U.S. rival.
Syngenta of Switzerland said it received another letter from Monsanto on Saturday, essentially repeating its prior offer to acquire the company for about $45 billion. Syngenta rejected a takeover bid by Monsanto in May, in part citing potential regulatory concerns.
The latest offer added a $2 billion breakup fee if the merger proved unpalatable to regulators, which Syngenta said was “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 rejecting the prior offer, Syngenta said Monsanto’s bid undervalued Syngenta’s prospects and underestimated “the significant execution risks, including regulatory and public scrutiny at multiple levels in many countries.”
On Monday, Syngenta said that its board, in conjunction with its legal advisers, did not believe that the regulatory concerns would be resolved by “a pre-agreed and pre-announced package of horizontal divestitures, which is Monsanto’s proposed approach.”
Monsanto has said that it would sell Syngenta’s seed business and other overlapping businesses. If the deal were announced and was not consummated, it could cause “significant harm and value destruction for Syngenta and its shareholders,” Syngenta said.
Monsanto offered to pay 449 Swiss francs, or about $477, for each share of Syngenta; 45 percent of the payment would be in cash.
The deal would create an agricultural behemoth, combining Monsanto, the world leader in seeds and genetically engineered traits, such as herbicide resistance, with Syngenta, the largest producer of agricultural chemicals.
Syngenta, based in Basel, Switzerland, manufactures insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and seeds. The company reported sales of $15.1 billion in 2014 and employs more than 28,000 people in more than 90 countries. The company’s global headquarters for biotechnology research is in Research Triangle Park, where Syngenta employs more than 400 workers.
Based in St. Louis, Monsanto manufactures seeds and chemicals used in crop protection, including insecticides. It reported sales of $15.9 billion in 2014 and employs more than 21,000 peoplein 66 countries.