Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, rejected Bayer AG’s US$62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate”, but said it was open to engage further in negotiations, Reuters reports.
Monsanto’s decision puts pressure on Bayer to decide whether to raise its bid, even as the company faces criticism from some shareholders that its US$122-per-share cash offer is already too high.
Monsanto shares rose to close 3.1 percent higher at US$109.3 in New York on Tuesday, 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 (US$97.08) 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 US$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 Werner Baumann said in a statement.
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