Bayer sign | Photo from Conanil via Flickr

Bayer sweetens offer for hesitant Monsanto



Two months after its first offer was rejected, Bayer AG has raised the stakes in its attempt to buy Monsanto Co. and create a chemical and agricultural giant.

The German company on Thursday upped its bid to $54.7 billion in cash, a $3-a-share increase to $125 a share. Thursday’s proposal came just hours after news that Monsanto might entertain a deal with another German chemicals giant, BASF SE.

So far, investors appear skeptical that either company has what it takes. Monsanto’s shares rose by $3.09, or 3 percent, to close at $104.22, well below the value of Bayer’s offer.

Yet the developments at Bayer, Monsanto and BASF all underscore the brisk consolidation sweeping the chemicals business, as well as Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann’s determination to form the world’s largest supplier of crop seeds and chemicals. Monsanto said Thursday that its board was reviewing the offer, which includes several incentives to try to get the transaction done.

The takeover discussions mark a reversal of roles for Monsanto, which had previously sought to buy Swiss pesticide maker Syngenta, abandoning the $43.7 billion bid in August after the other company refused to agree to a deal.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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