Germany’s chemical giant Bayer AG will acquire U.S. agribusiness Monsanto for $128 per share in an all-cash transaction totaling $66 billion.
In a joint announcement Sept. 14., Bayer AG CEO Werner Baumann said the deal is a major step forward for the company’s crop science business and reinforces Bayer’s leadership position in the life science sector.
In addition to its crop sciences portfolio, Bayer produces products used within the pharmaceutical, consumer health and animal health industries. Well-known brands include Alieve and Alka-seltzer. Monsanto is a major provider of genetically engineered seeds for crops and a maker of Round-Up, a glyphosate-based herbicide.
The merger will pair Bayer’s crop protection portfolio with Monsanto’s seeds and traits and digital agriculture tools for growers. Bayer said digital farming applications are expected to positively impact farmers, from improved sourcing and increased convenience to higher yield, better environmental protection and sustainability.
Bayer has a 150-year history in the U.S. with operations across 25 states employing more than 12,000 people in the country.
The combined agriculture business will have its global Seeds & Traits and North American commercial headquarters in St. Louis, its global Crop Protection and overall Crop Science headquarters in Monheim, Germany, and a presence in Durham, North Carolina, as well as many other locations throughout the U.S. and world. The Digital Farming activities for the combined business will be based in San Francisco, California.
The acquisition, the largest of 2016, according to news sources, is subject to customary closing conditions, including Monsanto shareholder approval of the merger agreement and receipt of required regulatory approvals. Closing is expected by the end of 2017.