Creating a global chemical and agricultural juggernaut, German pharmaceutical company Bayer announced Wednesday it has agreed to purchase Monsanto Co. — a global agricultural company and leading producer of genetically-engineered seed and glyphosate-based herbicide — for $57 billion.
“We are pleased to announce the combination of our two great organizations. This represents a major step forward for our Crop Science business and reinforces Bayer’s leadership position as a global innovation driven Life Science company with leadership positions in its core segments, delivering substantial value to shareholders, our customers, employees and society at large,” says Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG.
According to Bayer, the transaction will bring together leading seeds and traits, crop protection, biologics, and digital farming platforms. Specifically, the combined business would benefit from Monsanto’s leadership in seeds and traits and Bayer’s broad crop protection product line across a comprehensive range of indications and crops. The combination also brings together both companies’ leading innovation capabilities and R&D technology platforms with the goal of improving sourcing, convenience and increasing yield, as well as establishing better environmental protection and sustainability.
“We are entering a new era in agriculture — one with significant challenges that demand new, sustainable solutions and technologies to enable growers to produce more with less,” says Hugh Grant, chairman and CEO of Monsanto. “This combination with Bayer will deliver just that — an innovation engine that pairs Bayer’s crop protection portfolio with our world-class seeds and traits and digital agriculture tools to help growers overcome the obstacles of tomorrow. Together Monsanto and Bayer will build on our proud tradition and respective track records of innovation in the agriculture industry, delivering a more comprehensive and broader set of solutions to growers.”
Bayer originally offered $122 per share for Monsanto, before settling on an increased sale price of $128 per share.
Under the proposed transaction, the global Seeds & Traits and North American commercial headquarters would be located in St. Louis, Missouri and the company’s global crop protection and divisional crop science headquarters would be in Monheim, Germany. Digital farming for the combined business would be based near San Francisco, California.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including Monsanto shareholder approval of the merger agreement and receipt of required regulatory approvals. Closing is expected by the end of 2017. Bayer has committed to a $2 billion reverse antitrust break fee if the deal falls apart and cannot obtain necessary approvals.