Syngenta's shares soar on takeover rumours

13th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Swiss agrochemicals giant Syngenta saw its share price shoot up more than seven percent Friday amid reports it is in takeover talks with several companies, and snubbed an offer from a Chinese group.

Syngenta, which has been under intense pressure to placate its shareholders after it turned down a $47-billion-bid from Monsanto in August, is in takeover talks with China National Chemical (ChemChina) and other suitors and a deal could be reached within weeks, Bloomberg News reported, citing unidentified sources.

The news agency said the Swiss company had turned down an offer from ChemChina to pay 449 Swiss francs a share, or a total of 41.7 billion francs ($41.6 billion, 38 billion euros), but remained in talks with the company.

Syngenta reportedly rejected the offer over regulatory concerns.

Syngenta did not immediately respond to requests from AFP to comment on the report.

Following the news, the company saw its share price balloon 11 percent at opening, before deflating some.

By early afternoon, it was up 7.17 percent to 24.80 Swiss francs, on a slightly lower overall market.

After US seed giant Monsanto finally abandoned its takeover bid in August, Syngenta saw its share price go into a tailspin.

In a bid to calm angry shareholders, the company announced a $2.0-billion share buy-back deal in September, which it funded by selling off its vegetable seed business.

Last month, chief executive Mike Mack stepped down.

He has been temporarily replaced at the helm by the company's finance chief John Ramsay.

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© 2015 AFP

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