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.
There was better news in the IPO market from Ixia, a Calabasas-based maker of computer network performance analysis systems.
The company's IPO was priced at $13 a share Tuesday, above the range of $10 to $12 a share that had been expected.
Ixia raised $71.5 million by selling 5.5 million shares. The stock will begin trading on Nasdaq today under the symbol XXIA.