Business Day

Bayer given nod to buy Mon­santo for $66bn

- AGENCY STAFF Frank­furt Business · Bayer · Monsanto Company · United States of America

GER­MAN chem­i­cals gi­ant Bayer said on Wed­nes­day that it had signed a $66bn takeover deal with US seeds and pes­ti­cides com­pany Mon­santo.

“Bayer and Mon­santo to­day an­nounced that they signed a de­fin­i­tive merger agree­ment un­der which Bayer will ac­quire Mon­santo for $128 per share in an all-cash trans­ac­tion,” the firms said in a state­ment.

Bayer re­peat­edly in­creased its of­fer to Mon­santo since its first $122-per-share bid, but the US firm had un­til now held out for more cash. “This rep­re­sents a ma­jor step for­ward for our crop sci­ence busi­ness,” Bayer CE Werner Bau­mann said.

The two firms said that the deal “brings to­gether two dif­fer­ent, but highly com­ple­men­tary” busi­nesses.

Mon­santo share­hold­ers still have to ap­prove the deal, as do reg­u­la­tors — with Bayer stak­ing a $2bn re­verse an­titrust break fee in case the merger is re­jected by US or Eu­ro­pean au­thor­i­ties.

The deal is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of 2017.

Bayer has been pur­su­ing Mon­santo since late May, when it made an ini­tial bid of $122 per share, valu­ing the US ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied crop gi­ant at $62bn.

Mon­santo re­jected that bid, but said it was “open” to fur­ther talks. Since then Bayer has raised its of­fer twice, first to $125 per share in July and then to $127.50 last week, but was re­buffed each time.

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