A year after Monsanto Co. sparked a massive consolidation race in the agrochemical industry by bidding for rival Syngenta, the world’s largest seed company now finds itself in the uncomfortable role of takeover target.
Monsanto shares rallied as much as 12 percent on Thursday on new reports that Bayer AG and BASF SE were interested in the Creve Coeur-based company, which has a market value of nearly $40 billion.
Both Bayer and BASF have been exploring tie-ups with Monsanto for several months as the company faced mounting corporate woes, but valuation concerns have made a deal elusive, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The sources said both were concerned about the price Monsanto shareholders would want, emboldened by recent deals.
Monsanto, Bayer and BASF all declined to comment.