Bloomberg Businessweek (North America)

Bid/ask: Monsanto holds out for more; GE will help the Saudis move beyond oil

- By Karen Weise


Monsanto plays hard to get. The agricultur­al giant rejected Bayer’s takeover bid as too low but said it’s open to talks. Buying Monsanto would make Bayer the world’s biggest supplier of farm chemicals and seeds. Consolidat­ion in the industry may end up leaving just a few global companies that can offer a comprehens­ive range of products and services to farmers.


A fertilizer deal falls apart. In the latest plan to collapse after the U.S. adopted rules to curb tax inversions, Illinois-based CF Industries Holdings abandoned its purchase of Dutch rival OCI.


Money buys money. Ares Capital, a lender and private equity firm, plans to buy asset manager American Capital, which had been under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management.


GE invests in Saudi Arabia’s future. General Electric will team up with a state-owned investment company to build industrial facilities to reduce the Saudi economy’s dependence on oil.


An insurer goes smoke-free. Axa, France’s largest insurance company, says it will divest its assets in the tobacco industry, including selling stock and retiring bond holdings as they mature.


Energizer smells good. The battery maker will buy Handstands, which makes car fresheners. It’s Energizer’s first acquisitio­n since spinning off its personal-care-products business last year.


Lendingclu­b has a new shareholde­r. Companies controlled by Chinese billionair­e Tianqiao Chen disclosed a stake totaling as much as 11.7 percent of the embattled online loan marketplac­e.


Tribune gets a white knight. After receiving an investment from billionair­e Patrick Soon-shiong’s Nant Capital, the newspaper publisher rejected Gannett’s $864 million takeover offer.

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