U.S. Farm and Consumer Groups Plan to Derail Monsanto Bid for Syngenta
Claiming that a merging of the two companies would hurt the market through fewer product offerings at higher prices, several U.S. farm and consumer groups are building strategies aiming at derailing Monsanto’s bid to takeover Syngenta AG.
Market analysis is being conducted and coalitions are being formed with the aim of combatting the deal, adding to the hurdles that Monsanto will have to face to achieve its proposed plan. Although Monsanto has not yet convinced Syngenta to meet for negotiations, it states that it is working on convincing Syngenta shareholders to take its $45 million bid seriously. The company has also stated that it is confident that the deal will receive regulatory approval and that the result would be improved product innovation.
If a deal does materialize, the National Farmers Union is one of the members of a coalition building its opposing case to present to the Justice Department. The Food & Water Watch consumer advocacy group and the nonprofit American Antitrust Institute are also against the deal, with Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute claiming it is a “red herring”, and that the resulting combined entity would have control over the majority of seeds, genetic traits, and crop chemicals.
The National Corn Growers Association met with executives from Monsanto in July to discuss the possible merger, and is seeking an independent analysis of the possible market effects of such a deal, but so far, large soybean and corn groups have not announced an official position for or against the deal, as they are waiting for further details.