Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bayer bids $62 billion for Monsanto

Bayer AG offered $62 billion to buy Monsanto Co., deepening investor concern that it’s stretching its finances to become the world’s biggest seller of seeds and farm chemicals. The May 10 written proposal to Monsanto offered $122 a share in cash, the Leverkusen, Germany-based company said in a statement on Monday. Bayer’s stock dropped as much as 4.1%, extending losses since the potential deal was first revealed. Monsanto shares posted muted gains, rising 6% to $107.67 in New York trading, signaling that investors remain skeptical about the deal. Buying St. Louis-based Monsanto would allow Bayer to tap growing demand at a time when farmers must boost productivity to feed an estimated 10 billion people globally by 2050. Bayer Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann is hoping that rationale will win over skeptical investors -- and overcome a public backlash at home against Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds -- as he seeks to pull off the biggest corporate takeover ever by a German company after less than a month at the helm. “The agriculture industry is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges of our time: How to feed an additional 3 billion people by 2050. The number represents about six times the population of Europe today,” Baumann said in a Monday conference call...more

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