German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy Monsanto, the Creve Coeur-based agribusiness giant, for $62 billion in cash, defying criticism from some of its own shareholders in a bid to grab the top spot in a fast-consolidating farm supplies industry.
The unsolicited proposal, which includes debt, would be the largest foreign takeover by a German company if accepted.
The proposal gives investors insights into Bayer CEO Werner Baumann’s style and ambitions as he attempts to pull off the biggest corporate takeover ever by a German company after less than a month at the helm. The move was condemned by a major shareholder as “arrogant empire-building” when news of the proposal emerged last week.
Giving details for the first time, Bayer said on Monday it would offer $122 per share, a 37 percent premium to Monsanto’s stock price before rumors of a bid surfaced.
Monsanto, which said last week it had a received an approach from Bayer but gave no details, has yet to comment on the offer. The U.S. company’s shares jumped 9.5 percent to $111.17 in pre-market trading.