Bayer in talks with US seeds company Monsanto over merger

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German chemicals group Bayer is in discussions with US seeds company Monsanto in respect of a multi-billion dollar deal that would form an agri foods giant.

Monsanto said earlier today that it had “received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Bayer AG for a potential acquisition”, which was later confirmed by Leverkusen-based Bayer – though neither party disclosed the proposed financial details of the deal.

Reuters reported that it was likely to be of greater value than ChemChina’s deal to buy Swiss agrichemicals company Syngenta, which was reported in February with a sale price of $43 billion, and could come up against “US antitrust hurdles”.

“The proposed combination would reinforce Bayer as a global innovation-driven life science company with leadership positions in its core segments, and would create a leading integrated agriculture business,” Bayer continued.

Monsanto’s board of directors is in the process of reviewing the bid.

The deal would allow Bayer and Monsanto to better flex their muscle in the global chemicals and ingredients markets, where rival companies have strengthened their position through acquisitions.