Bayer has finally secured the acquisition of St. Louis-based Monsanto with an offer that amounts to about $66 billion, after months of courting and two previous offers. The $128 per share deal is the largest cash bid on record and will create a company that commands more than a quarter of the world’s market for seeds and pesticides. This, of course, places the takeover under close scrutiny from anti-trust regulators, which, if rejected, Bayer has agreed to pay Monsanto a $2-billion break-fee.
Bayer’s offer is $4 billion more than the previous and a 44% premium over Monsanto’s stock price on May 9. According to Reuters, Bernstein Research analysts see only a 50% chance of the takeover achieving regulatory approval, given the potential political pushback ranging from farmers’ dissatisfaction that all their suppliers are consolidating, to the issue of Monsanto’s departure from the United States.
The Bayer-Monsanto deal is not the only consolidation taking place as of late. Dow Chemical and DuPont are planning a merger and ChemChina is purchasing Syngenta after the Swiss firm declined a takeover by Monsanto last year.