The on-going Syngenta saga – Mike Mack resigns

You would have seen last week the reports of Mike Mack resigning. While it seems that the reasons behind it are his arrogance for rejecting/not pursuing the sale of Syngenta to Monsanto, what’s more interesting is what other details of Syngenta’s activities over the last year were confirmed.

Firstly, Syngenta, through comments from its interim CEO, John Ramsay who was the CFO, that his priority for some time has been the packaging and sale of the seed division. While this has been widely known for many years it is really the first official confirmation. You would have seen about a month ago that Syngenta sold off all its traits to Limagrain, which signalled Syngenta’s exit from the mainly US based GM business. For the last few years Syngenta has been slowly selling off rights to many of its varieties.

Secondly, this all but confirms that the sale of Syngenta to Monsanto is a forgone conclusion given time for the current upheaval to subside.

What’s also interesting is that obviously Monsanto wasn’t interested in any of Syngenta’s traits, hence selling them off although Syngenta’s competitiveness in this area was somewhat poor.

Many will herald the departure of Mike Mack who some ten years ago started the downfall of the vegetable seed division through his idea of integration with chemicals, not to mention the total destruction of the flower business and what was Goldsmiths. Critics at the time were ignored with many making their departure from the remnants of a seed business which had been declining for some years under the hand-me-on stewardship of numerous takeovers.

It will be interesting to see who acquires the bits and pieces of the Syngenta vegetable seed and whether Monsanto opts to retain the field crops as part of its acquisition.