Biotech seed giant Monsanto Co. has dropped its roughly $46 billion bid for pesticides-focused rival Syngenta AG, bringing an end to a strongly resisted takeover bid that would have reshaped the global agriculture industry. Monsanto said it continues to believe that such a deal would have created "tremendous value," but it will now focus on building its core business. Shares of Monsanto jumped 6.8% to $95.54 following the news. Monsanto, the world's largest seller of seeds, proposed in late April a deal that would have created a world leader in both seed and pesticide sales. The St. Louis-based company says the new entity would be better equipped to formulate new products and bring them quickly to farm fields. On Aug. 18, Monsanto increased its takeover offer to a value of 470 Swiss francs a share in cash and stock, up from its original offer of 449 francs and making the deal worth about $46 billion. The proposal also increased the reverse breakup fee to $3 billion. However, executives for Swiss-based Syngenta have repeatedly said they were committed to fending off the deal, claiming that it was "inadequate on so many perspectives" and too vulnerable to objections from antitrust regulators. Some Syngenta shareholders had voiced discontent over the pesticide maker's steadfast refusal over the past three months to enter negotiations with Monsanto, and over Syngenta's communications with its own shareholders on the matter.
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