Bayer's planned $62.5 billion takeover of seeds maker Monsanto is set to close on Thursday, Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntags Zeitung reported. A Bayer spokesman declined to comment on the Sunday newspaper report. Bayer last week won U.S. approval for the Monsanto takeover after months of delays in a drawn-out review, clearing a major hurdle for a deal that will create by far the largest seeds and pesticides maker. Bayer has said it would very soon close the transaction, which it needs to do because after June 14, Monsanto could withdraw from the takeover agreement and seek a higher price. A woman uses a Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller spray without glyphosate in a garden in Ercuis near Paris.
German drug and crop chemical group Bayer AG on Thursday announced details of a sweetened 64 billion bid for Monsanto Co. as it tries to put the U.S. seed company under pressure to engage further. Analysts and some Monsanto shareholders were quick to opine that Bayer's latest offer, the largest all-cash takeover bid on record, was unlikely to entice Monsanto. Bayer, however, is hoping that the sweetened offer will spur enough Monsanto shareholders to call on the company's management to be more accommodative. Global agrochemicals companies are racing to consolidate, partly in response to a drop in commodity prices that has hit farm incomes. Bayer made its bid for Monsanto public in May, but the two companies have made little progress since in negotiating a deal.
On Aug. 10, lawyer Brent Wisner, 34, scored a landmark verdict on behalf of his client, cancer patient Dewayne Johnson. A court in San Francisco ruled that Monsanto was guilty of concealing the potential health risks associated with its weed killer glyphosate, which is sold in the United States under the brand name Round Up. The jury ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages to the plaintiff, who had used Round Up at his job as a janitor for a school district. The court said Monsanto should have labeled the product's possible dangers for consumers. Monsanto, which was recently acquired by German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer, has denied any link between the product and the disease.
The market has opened up as Monsanto's Roundup Ready line of seeds - engineered to tolerate the weed killer glyphosate - has lost effectiveness as weeds develop their own tolerance to the chemical. Compounding the firm's troubles is a national scandal over crop damage linked to its new soybean and herbicide pairing – Roundup Ready 2 Xtend seeds, engineered to resist the chemical dicamba.