Farmer reaction to the announcement on Feb. 3 that ChemChina will acquire Syngenta was decidedly negative, including a farmer panel that discussed their reservations on AgriTalk.
More than 1,600 farmers weighed in on a Farm Journal Pulse poll later in the day on how they felt about the deal. Four out of five say they feel negative or very negative about the deal. The results are consistent with a similar Pulse asking about a potential Monsanto acquisition in June 2015 – farmers overwhelmingly prefer “as-is” over mergers and acquisitions.
Only 3% say the move leaves them feeling positive, with 80% saying they feel negatively about it. Another 12% find themselves on neutral ground, with the remaining 6% without an opinion on the matter.
But Syngenta says there’s a better question farmers should be asking – how do they feel about Syngenta remaining intact during an era of consolidation?
“Through this deal Syngenta remains Syngenta - intact, ensuring continued choice for growers at a time when considerable consolidation is taking place in the agricultural industry,” says Paul Minehart, head of the company’s North America corporate communications. “Syngenta will continue to be a strong competitor in the marketplace, and Syngenta management will continue to lead all aspects of the business, including delivering high-quality products to American farmers.”
That includes an ongoing R&D investment across technology platforms and crops, Minehart says.
“Customers will have access to the same high-quality portfolio of seeds, traits and crop-protection products,” he says.
Syngenta released 2015 financial highlights earlier in February and reported sales of $13.4 billion, up 1% when considering constant exchange rates. CEO John Ramsey says Syngenta has the “most productive R&D engine” in agriculture today.
“We are the only company with such substantial investments in chemistry, breeding and traits, accompanied by a global presence across multiple crops,” he says.
ChemChina’s all-cash offer for Syngenta’s stock is worth more than $43 billion.
For continued coverage as this story unfolds, visit www.agweb.com/news/syngenta-chemchina-deal/.