Agri-chemical giant Monsanto rejected another merger offer from Bayer on Tuesday, signaling it is open to proposals from other companies.
After Bayer upped its offer from $62 to $65 billion, or $125 per share, Monsanto’s board unanimously rejected it, calling it “financially inadequate,” adding “Monsanto remains open to continued and constructive conversations with Bayer and other parties to assess whether a transaction that the Board believes is in the best interest of Monsanto shareowners can be realized.”
A merger of German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG, which has an agricultural division concentrating on pesticides, and Missouri-based Monsanto Company, the global leader in seeds and crop gene technology, would create a mega-corporation focused on high-tech seeds and crop services. It would also be the latest in mergers of agribusiness giants.
Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont shareholders will vote this week on a merger agreed to in December, and the Swiss seed and agri-chemical company Syngenta AG, which Monsanto tried to buy in 2015, was purchased in February by China National Chemical Corp. for $43 billion.
Some Monsanto investors have said Bayer needs to continue to raise its offer to acquire Monsanto, which concentrates on agriculture and is struggling in the current farm economy’s three consecutive years of declining crop prices. Their concern stems from potentially selling the company at a low point in the cyclical agricultural business, the Wall Street Journal said Tuesday.