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Monsanto to pivot into ag big-data field

Monsanto Co., which last month abandoned a $46 billion bid to buy Syngenta AG, plans to offer its shareholders a new corporate vision: a future in big data, Reuters reported.

Monsanto executives are seeking to reposition the company as a business built on data science and services, as well as its traditional chemicals, seeds and genetic traits operations, Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley told Reuters in an interview.

“We transformed from industrial chemical company to a biotech company, then to a seeds company,” Fraley said. “Now, we’re transforming again.”

Top executives are sketching out plans now, and briefing major shareholders ahead of a wider presentation to investors in November at the company’s St. Louis headquarters. Fraley and others have met with at least 195 technology startups in recent months and identified five as potential acquisition targets, pending Monsanto’s testing of products they make, company sources said.

Company officials declined to say how big a part of the firm it expects the data science and services arm to become, or to project sales and profits.

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