Leverkusen German drug and chemical maker Bayer negotiated a successful deal to take over the U.S. seed company Monsanto.
German pharmaceutical giant Bayer made a successful bid for the U.S. seeds company Monsanto on Wednesday. They offered 128 USD per share, increasing their previous offer and putting the total bid at 66 billion USD (around 59 million euros). It is the biggest merger ever for a German firm.
Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s Chief Executive said the merger was a positive move for shareholders. The move comes at a time when grain prices are at their lowest level in years and farmers are cutting costs by saving on tractors, but also on seeds and crop chemicals. There is enormous pressure to consolidate in the agribusiness sector.
Monsanto is a seed specialist while Bayer specializes in crop chemicals. Combining the two means farmers will have one place to go for all of their needs in terms of seeding and crop chemical operations.
Monsanto has been criticized in Europe for engineering genetically modified crops. It has also come under fire for unfriendly behavior towards customers. It uses the chemical Glyphosat, which is suspected of being a cancer causing agent.
The fusion must still get regulatory clearance and if approval from all shareholders and authorities is granted, the merger will be completed by the end of 2017. (Orig. text: Ralf Arenz, translated by Carol Kloeppel)