... and the US agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, has commented on the proposed SYT/Chemchina deal yesterday - “I have a watchful eye on all of this and continue to be extremely concerned about the way in which biotechnology and innovation is being treated and impeded by a system in China that is often times not based on science and appears to be more based on politics.”
It's clearly not going to be an easy ride with the CFIUS, and SYT may have to divest some of its US assets in order to be able to proceed. This uncertainty does seem to be reflected in the share price. Again, this might open the door to an industry counter-bid, however unlikely that might sound. Shareholders would effectively be comparing the CFIUS risk against the higher antitrust scrutiny that an industry bid would attract.
MTC is almost certainly lobbying hard for that! But without a deal with SYT, MTC's options & prospects are much reduced. We'll know within a month or so just how strongly they feel about this. Even SYT may be expecting it - they did say that they would have to look at any other offers that materialise.
Rumour mill is that an industry counter-bid is possible. There's a mountain to climb to shape a more attractive offer than the all-cash Chemchina offer supported by the Syngenta board, but it's definitely possible. It would be difficult for Chemchina to increase its offer as it's already one of the largest all-cash offers in history, and they can't offer a stock option to top up their offer. So BASF / Monsanto could offer around SFR 550 / share, and justify the increment from both extra top-line growth, and cost/tax synergies which wouldn't be available to Chemchina. BASF would take the Seeds franchise, and Monsanto the chemicals, which would not be too difficult from restructuring and regulatory perspectives. Whether this is likely or not is a different question, but if they want to move - and Monsanto does not want to be left weaker after this round of industry consolidation - they'll have to move in the next 2 / 3 weeks, before the Chemchina offer opens (April / May?). If Chemchina gets 51% or more, it's game over for Monsanto (and BASF), and their remaining options are much less attractive.