Bayer bids big with $62bn Monsanto acquisition play

23 May 2016

Global agricultural supply giant Bayer has made a $62bn bid for global agricultural supply giant Monsanto, in what is being described as an “extraordinary opportunity” for the duo.

In what would create the world’s biggest agricultural supplier, German company Bayer wants to acquire a new position atop the industry.

With rivals Dow Chemical, DuPont and Syngenta in the middle of corporate changes of their own, Bayer’s $62bn bid for Monsanto has surprised investors.

The value put on the latter’s shares at that price is 37pc higher than its market value before the news broke, according to Bayer.

“We have long respected Monsanto’s business and share their vision to create an integrated business that we believe is capable of generating substantial value for both companies’ shareholders,” said Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG.

Baumann has been CEO for less than a month, with his plans to buy up Monsanto representing the biggest corporate takeover in German history, should it come to pass.

Monsanto has come in for criticism from activists for its biotechnology, with its genetically-modified seeds now representing the majority of corn and soybeans grown in the US.

“Together we would draw on the collective expertise of both companies to build a leading agriculture player with exceptional innovation capabilities to the benefit of farmers, consumers, our employees and the communities in which we operate,” said Baumann.

Bayer, at the moment, is the world’s second-largest producer of crop chemicals behind Syngenta, which itself was subject to a takeover bid by Monsanto last year.

Crop dust image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic