Rumors of BASF Bid for Syngenta Resurface

05.08.2015 -

German chemical giant BASF has lined up a loan package from large multinational banks to finance a potential takeover offer for Syngenta, the news agency Reuters says, citing “people familiar with the matter.”

Syngenta has already rejected a $45 billion takeover approach from Monsanto. The Swiss player, however has declined to open its books to its US pursuer, despite the lure of a $2 billion cash payment if the transaction failed to win regulatory approval.

The source is said to have told Reuters that while BASF has secured roughly $50 billion in bridge financing, it could also finance a deal with $30 billion in debt, paying for the rest with cash and freshly raised capital subsequently unloading debt onto the merged company.

The German group is thought not be in a hurry to move on its Swiss rival but does not want to see Monsanto become the market’s undisputed number one player after gobbling up Syngenta. It would prefer preserving to preserve the status quo in which one single player is universally dominant.

Presumably calculated on the basis of businesses before any required divestment, analysts have guessed that the combined Monsanto-Syngenta would become the undisputed top player one in crop protection and seed with 26-29% of the market – up from about 16-17% currently.

Earlier this year, reports suggested that both BASF and German rival Bayer could be keen to pick up the seeds business the US group would have to sell in exchange for antitrust clearance. Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers said recently in response to a question that Syngenta “would not be a good fit” for his company, but did not comment on a possible seeds 

While actively courting the Swiss giant’s shareholders, Monsanto has not yet made a formal offer for Syngenta  The news agency source said BASF would only bid in the event the US group does makes a formal offer.