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Bayer says prepared to offer US$127.50 a share for Monsanto
[NEW YORK] Bayer AG said it's in advanced talks to boost its bid for Monsanto Co to USUS$127.50 a share.
The sweetened takeover offer is a 19 per cent premium to the last closing price for St Louis-based Monsanto of US$107.44. There is no assurance parties will enter into a pact, it said, Bayer said Monday in a statement.
Buying Monsanto would give Bayer a company that's both the world's largest seed supplier and a pioneer of crop biotechnology.
The kind of genetically modified seeds that Monsanto started to commercialise two decades ago now account for the majority of corn and soybeans grown in the US. Monsanto also sells seeds in foreign markets including Latin America and India.
The offer from Bayer marks a reversal of roles for the US company. Monsanto has long sought to become a one-stop shop for farmers by boosting its crop chemicals portfolio to complement its seeds business. To that end, it had pursued the purchase of Syngenta AG on at least three separate occasions over the years.
The crop and seed industry is being reshaped by a series of large transactions that may end up leaving just a few global players who can offer a comprehensive range of products and services to farmers.
China National Chemical Corp agreed in February to acquire Syngenta. Meanwhile, DuPont Co and Dow Chemical Co plan to merge and then carve out a new crop-science unit.