Monsanto accepts sweeter bid from Bayer: reports

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The US seed and pesticide giant Monsanto has agreed to an improved takeover bid from the German pharmaceuticals manufacturer Bayer, two media outlets have reported. Bayer is apparently offering $129 a share.

Top managers at St. Louis-based Monsanto approved the sale to Bayer at a meeting on Tuesday, news of which was first leaked to journalists from Bloomberg and Reuters a day later.

Both outlets cited anonymous company insiders who said Bayer had sweetened its offer to buy Monsanto for $56.5 billion (50.2 billion euros), or $129 a share. That’s up from the $127.50 a share the German pharmaceuticals giant was offering last week.

Bayer reportedly also agreed to double the so-called “anti-trust break fee” to $3 billion that it would pay Monsanto if authorities did not approve the purchase. The deal stands to be the biggest-ever acquisition by a German company. It would also create a new global leader in genetically modified seeds and pesticides.

The deal is still pending final approval from Bayer’s supervisory board, which Bloomberg said could come as early as Wednesday.

cjc/uhe (AFP, Reuters)

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