Shareholder Survey Calls for Syngenta Sale

21.12.2015 -

A survey conducted by the Alliance of Critical Syngenta Shareholders has found that 79% of the 112 shareholders responding to the query support a sale of the company. The poll earlier this month, in which sell-side analysts are said to have participated, also revealed that 59% of respondents did not support Syngenta’s board of directors.

The company has been the target of frequent M&A speculation in recent months. Following the failed $47 billion hostile bid from Monsanto in the summer, reports in past weeks have linked the company with ChemChina.

The merger between Dow and DuPont, which will create a $19 billion agrochemicals giant – as one of three companies carved out of the combined group –  also boosted speculation about further consolidation in the sector, which also includes major players Bayer and BASF as well as Monsanto.

The Alliance said the results of the survey cannot be ignored and represent a call to action for Syngenta. “Change is required. It is clear that if the board of directors continues to entrench itself and fails to address shareholder concerns, they do so at their own peril,” it said in a statement.

Represented by Martin Lehmann, a partner with Swiss firm 3V Asset Management, and Folke Rauscher, a financial communications executive, the Alliance is an anonymous group of private and institutional Syngenta shareholders.

Syngenta has criticized the survey, saying it has met with shareholders representing more than 45% of capital in recent weeks and has a clear understanding of its shareholders’ views.

The US newspaper Wall Street Journal quotes Syngenta’s interim CEO, John Ramsay, as saying the Swiss company is discussing possible deals with a number of parties and that Monsanto has not reviewed its takeover effort.