German drugs and crop chemicals company Bayer AG made a $62bn cash offer to acquire U.S. seeds company Monsanto, in a bid to grab the top spot in a fast-consolidating farm supplies industry. Monsanto said it would review the proposal.
The unsolicited proposal would be the largest all-cash takeover globally, ahead of InBev’s $60.4 billion offer for Anheuser-Busch in June 2008.
The cash offer made was $122 per share, a 37% premium to Monsanto’s stock price before rumors of a bid surfaced.
Monsanto, which said last week, it had received an approach from Bayer but gave no details, and declined to comment.
Antitrust experts see an overlap in the seeds business, particularly in soybeans, cotton and canola. Bayer’s LibertyLink line of weed killers, plus crops that are resistant to it, are an important alternative for farmers suffering from weeds that have grown resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.