– Rexam plc (REX LN): With today being day 65 in EC’s Phase 2 process, today is parties’ deadline to submit formal commitments/remedies to EC (where any such submission would extend Phase 2 decision day by 3 weeks from 23 December till mid-January 2016): not a matter here whether they will submit remedies, but matter of how many plants Ball is willing to let go in Europe (consensus range anywhere from 4 till 14) to satisfy EC’s Statement of Objections. From speaking to the parties, it seems however that regulatory processes are and have somehow been running as expected from the outset (although unsure whether that is part of aggressive/bullish facade by parties or whether the required remedies being discussed are actually in line with what they were expecting). We should get confirmation of parties having submitted remedies within next 24 hours. We continue to like either to set up spread (GBp 407 + 0.0457 BLL – REX) either above GBp 60 or outright Rexam in low GBp 500s.
– Syngenta AG (SYNN VX): Some muted excitement yesterday when Monsanto COO Begemann’s was getting quoted by Bloomberg that Monsanto was internally discussing another Syngenta approach -however headline (story) seems somehow slightly distorted as Syngenta topic was (and is being) discussed within Monsanto’s more general thoughts and discussions framework. Syngenta’s main investment angle remains with the Chinese – the idea of Monsanto coming back remains leftfield but very present, however would not pay too much for Monsanto optionality here.