Monsanto Plans Bond Sale for $10 Billion Stock Repurchase

Monsanto Co. (MON), the world’s largest seed company, intends to offer senior notes to help buy back $10 billion of shares in its biggest stock repurchase plan.

The offering will be undertaken “in the near term”, according to a company statement. It would be Monsanto’s first bond issue since a three-part, $1 billion sale in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The St. Louis-based company is rated A1, the fifth level of investment grade, by Moody’s Investors Service, the data show.

The seed producer announced the stock buyback plan to boost investor returns after ending preliminary talks about a takeover of Syngenta AG that would have cut its tax bill. Monsanto intends to help finance the share repurchases over two years with debt, the company said in a separate release.

The company didn’t specify a timeframe for the bond offering. Lee Quarles, a spokesman for Monsanto, didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Janofsky in New York at ajanofsky4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shannon D. Harrington at sharrington6@bloomberg.net John Parry, Chapin Wright

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