US/EU: Monsanto mulled merger to relocate taxes

According to reports released this week, agricultural biotech giant Monsanto was considering an acquisition of a Switzerland-based rival in hopes of transferring its tax location outside the US.

Reports say Monsanto explored a buyout of Syngenta for more than $40 billion. Syngenta reportedly declined to pursue negotiations, however, and the merger never consummated.

But Monsanto’s plans are part of a growing trend of other major corporations hoping to lessen their tax burden through EU acquisitions. Reports say Pfizer, AstraZeneca and AbbVie have all looked at ways to save money through tax inversion by moving their address outside the US. Medtronic recently announced it will save up to $14 billion by doing so.

Reports say relocation difficulties and likely antitrust hurdles stymied merger talks between Monsanto and Syngenta.

The European Commission is currently probing the tax policies of several EU member states and their relationships to major non-EU companies for possible anticompetitive consequences.

Full content: Benzinga

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