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.
China-based Anbang Insurance Group Co. surprisingly withdrew its $14bn bid for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., citing undisclosed market conditions as a cause of the withdrawal. This withdrawal provides rival bidder Marriott International Inc., a clear opportunity to proceed with its offer for Starwood.
In a long-drawn battle between Anbang and Marriott to acquire Starwood, Anbang emerged the preferred bidder with its offer of $82.75 a share. The sudden withdrawal, leaves investors speculating the cause of it.
Investors and sources attributed the withdrawal to various reasons ranging from potential regulatory hurdles that Anbang could face to the reluctance of Anbang to enter into a protracted battle with a rival bidder to lack of clarity on how Anbang could finance the deal.
Marriott would now proceed with its cash-and-stock offer of $77.9 a share, based on Thursday’s closing prices, as Starwood’s shareholders are scheduled to vote on 8 April 2016 on the acquisition. The value excludes Starwood’s pending timeshare spinoff.