Syngenta to sell vegetable seeds division

Syngenta announced today that it plans to divest its global vegetables seeds business. "I hope this process will give the shareholders confidence in the underlying value of the company and support our clear view in rejecting the Monsanto proposals," CFO John Ramsay told The Wall Street Journal.

Ramsay said the decision to put the business up for sale wasn't driven directly by Monsanto's approach, but followed a view that U.S. company was undervaluing Syngenta's assets.

Michel Demaré, Chairman, said: “The Board and management are determined to accelerate shareholder value creation and our actions today underpin our commitment to do so. Our commitment is also shown by the significant capital return program that we announced today.”

Mike Mack, Chief Executive Officer, said: “By demonstrating and unlocking the inherent worth of our leading global seeds portfolio we can create significant additional value. I look forward to updating shareholders in the coming months on progress, including providing further visibility on the underlying profitability of our portfolio of assets.

“We continue to make excellent progress with our AOL program which, together with our clear intent to drive margin improvement across the business, underpins our confidence in our 2018 margin target of 24-26%. For 2015 we reiterate the full year guidance that we outlined in July.”

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