Monsanto held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday to open 36 new state-of-the-art greenhouses at its Chesterfield Research Center, against the backdrop of last month’s announcement that Bayer will buy Monsanto in a $66 billion deal.
At the celebration, Monsanto officials expressed confidence that the new facility further bolsters the area’s standing as a hub for biotech research — now and in the future.
“I’ve got a feeling that these greenhouses, they’re going to be really, really busy,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s CEO. “The long-term commitment to St. Louis has been a very important part of our conversation with Bayer.”
Grant conveyed optimism about the merger, billing it as an “exciting opportunity” that will accelerate advances in research and product development across the two companies. He said the expanded facilities at Monsanto’s Chesterfield Research Center would continue to be at the epicenter of those efforts in the companies’ shared future.
The greenhouses are part of a $400 million expansion announced in 2013. A new research building is expected to be completed in June. About 1,100 employees work at the facility currently. When the new building is done, there will be room for about 2,000.