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Business

Monsanto accepts sweeter bid from Bayer

The US seed and pesticide giant Monsanto has agreed to an improved takeover bid from the German pharmaceuticals manufacturer Bayer. The multi-billion-dollar deal will create the world's biggest crop seed producer.

German chemicals giant Bayer said on Wednesday it had signed a $66 billion (58.8 billion euros) takeover deal with US genetically modified (GM) seeds firm Monsanto.

"Bayer and Monsanto have signed a binding merger agreement that enables Bayer to take over Monsanto for $128 per share," the firms said in a statement.


Bayer repeatedly increased its offer to Monsanto since its first $122-per-share bid in May, but the US firm had until now held out for more cash. Top managers at St. Louis-based Monsanto approved the sale to Bayer at a meeting on Tuesday.

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Significance of the merger and market reaction

Bayer reportedly agreed to double the so-called "anti-trust break fee" to about $2 billion that it would pay Monsanto if authorities did not approve the purchase, according to Bloomberg.

The deal stands to be the biggest-ever acquisition by a German company. It would create a new global leader in genetically modified seeds and pesticides. Bayer makes a wide range of crop protection chemicals, while Monsanto is known for its seeds business.

The transaction is still pending final approval from regulatory bodies in Europe and the US.

cjc/uhe (AFP, Reuters)

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