Formed in 2000 by the merger of the agronomical divisions of Zeneca and Novartis, Syngenta is one of the world’s leading suppliers of seeds and crop protection systems. A multinational company, Syngenta employs 26,000 people across 90 countries. In 2010, its sales exceeded $11 billion. Syngenta’s mission is ‘bringing plant potential to life’.
It uses the latest science and technology to develop products that help its customers improve crop productivity. Syngenta’s products are used by farmers to protect crops against weeds, pests, and fungal diseases. The company’s herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides are usually based on complex chemicals.
To develop products that can improve farm output without damaging the natural environment requires intensive Research and Development (R&D). To protect its investment, Syngenta obtains patents for its new products.
In 2008, Syngenta was faced with a major investment decision. As the Amistar range of fungicides moved through its product life cycle, its maximum capacity was approached.
Syngenta could not produce more Amistar without investing in its production facilities. A proposal was put forward to expand production through a £150 million investment at the Grangemouth site in Scotland. The company had to decide whether increasing production would be financially viable and a worthwhile investment.
The table below shows the estimated cash flow for the Grangemouth expansion project.
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