Monsanto’s smaller rivals see big opportunity amid M&A

Farmers may be worried about the multibillion-dollar deals transforming the agriculture industry, but independent seed companies see the consolidation as an opportunity.

The global seed and chemical industry is undergoing a rapid realignment, with three massive deals in less than a year. Last month, Germany-based Bayer AG clinched a bid to buy Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed company, for $66 billion, ending a months-long chase. DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical Co. plan a $59 billion merger of equals, while China National Chemical Corp. waits to complete its $43 billion takeover of Swiss seed maker Syngenta AG.

Plenty of customers will ditch the big-name brands because they want more personalized service and products developed for local soils and climates, according to Sonny Beck, the 75-year-old head of Beck’s Hybrids, the largest independent seed retailer in the country.

While the dominant players get bigger, some independents may also look for opportunities in research and development, licensing genetic research and sales of traditionally-bred seeds.

Read more: Bloomberg

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