The offer on the table from ChemChina to purchase Syngenta (SYT) works out to a price of about $94 a share.
So why is Syngenta selling today at $80.06 a share?
Because the risk that this deal won’t get completed continues to climb.
At the Chinese end because financial regulators are cracking down on big acquisitions that would send a lot of cash out of the country.
At the EuroZone end where regulators have asked for more information about the deal–especially in light of the proposed acquisition of Monsanto (MON) by Bayer. That additional scrutiny has led Syngenta to admit that its goal of an end of 2016 close for the deal won’t be possible. (The Monsanto-Bayer deal also faces a fair amount of market skepticism. The offer is at $128 a share, yet Monsanto traded today at just $103.50.)
At the U.S. end where the in-coming Trump administration is likely, in general, to be more friendly to big acquisitions than the Obama administration, but where policy toward China is a bit unpredictable at the moment. The deal certainly could fall victim to heightened tensions over U.S./China trade.
Given the rising uncertainties, the 17.5% potential appreciation from today’s close to the deal price doesn’t look especially attractive. And without the deal Syngenta will be looking for solutions to its continued problems in the seed business where competitors have raised their games.
Therefore I’m selling Syngenta out of my Jubak Picks portfolio as of December 12. At the December 8 closing price of $80.06 a share I show a 4.8% gain on this position since I added it to this portfolio back on December 10, 2015.
Why wait until December 12? Because then the gain, which isn’t especially large I know, will quality as a long-term gain for tax purposes as opposed to a short-term gain. (To quality as a long-term gain an investment has to be held for longer than a year.) On a long-term gain an investor will pay tax at a 20% rate. On a short-term gain, the gain is treated as ordinary income and the investor pays tax at his or her overall tax rate.