Monsanto Co., a leading developer of genetically engineered crops, raised $700 million in an initial public offering Tuesday, slightly less than it hoped, in a transaction testing the market appetite for bioengineered foods.
Monsanto sold 35 million shares, a 14% stake in the company, at $20 a share, according to underwriter Goldman, Sachs & Co. That's less than the range of $21 to $24 the company hoped to get.
Given its lead position in genetically altered crops and its top-selling Roundup herbicide, Monsanto sold its shares at a relatively low price, reflecting controversy over genetically engineered foods, some analysts said.
The company is a spinoff from drug giant Pharmacia Corp., which merged with Monsanto earlier this year. Monsanto shares will begin trading today on the NYSE under the ticker symbol MON.