Syngenta CEO Mike Mack Quits Following Monsanto Takeover Rejection
BASEL, SWITZERLAND - Syngenta’s Chief Executive Mike Mack has announced he will exit the company, just two months after the company rejected Monsanto's $47 billion takeover bid. John Ramsay, the company’s current Chief Financial Officer, will be the interim CEO until a new Chief Executive can be found, the company added in a statement.
As of 5 p.m. EST, Syngenta’s shares were up nearly 4 points following the announcement, with analysts predicting a “rekindling” of acquisition talks, according to Reuters.
However, Syngenta Chairman Michel Demaré said in an interview with Wall Street Journal that Mack’s exit was not due to a difference in strategy or the rejection of Monsanto’s bid. Demaré has not been in favor of a takeover since the beginning, reiterating his opinion that it undervalued Syngenta and was financially risky. The rejection was, “a unanimous decision” of Syngenta’s board, and Demaré doesn’t plan to re-engage Monsanto on takeover talks.
Syngenta, one of the world's largest maker of pesticides, has been under pressure to boost shareholder returns after rejecting the possible deal with rival Monsanto.
A group of rebel Syngenta shareholders, calling itself the "Alliance of Critical Syngenta-Shareholders,” say the change in leadership will benefit the company, and they now have the support of more than 80 Syngenta shareholders.
"We welcome the decision because it shows that somebody takes responsibility. It opens up new perspectives in terms of exploiting all options to fully get Syngenta's potential back," Folke Rauscher, Managing Director of the group told Reuters.
Reuters reports that Syngenta's shares dropped 23 percent on the day that Monsanto announced it was giving up the pursuit.