Monsanto rejects Bayer bid, but open to more talks
By Greg Roumeliotis
(Reuters) - Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG's $62 billion acquisition bid as "incomplete and financially inadequate" on Tuesday, but said it was open to engage further in negotiations.
Monsanto's decision, first reported earlier on Tuesday by Reuters, puts pressure on Bayer to decide whether to raise its bid, even as the company faces criticism from some shareholders that its $122-per-share cash offer is already too high.
Monsanto shares ended trading up 3.1 percent at $109.3 in New York, substantially below Bayer's bid price, underscoring some investor skepticism that a deal can be done. Bayer shares rose 3.23 percent at 87.15 euros in Frankfurt.
"We believe in the substantial benefits an integrated strategy could provide to growers and broader society, and we have long respected Bayer’s business," Monsanto Chief Executive Hugh Grant said in a statement.
"However, the current proposal significantly undervalues our company and also does not adequately address or provide reassurance for some of the potential financing and regulatory execution risks related to the acquisition," he added.
Bayer responded that its $122 per share offer represents "full and certain value" for Monsanto shareholders, but that it looks forward to engaging in constructive discussions with Monsanto.
"We are confident that we can address any potential financing or regulatory matters related to the transaction. Bayer remains committed to working together to complete this mutually compelling transaction," Bayer Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann said in a statement.
It was not clear what price Monsanto would be willing to sell for but several analysts have suggested Bayer would have to pay much more than the current offer to clinch a deal. Continued...