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Bayer plans takeover bid for Monsanto

Bayer plans takeover bid for Monsanto

The North American group is valued at $ 40 billion.

The German pharmaceutical group Bayer is studying a takeover bid (takeover) on its North American rival Monsanto, which was valued at about 40,000 million dollars (37,717 million euros) at the end of Wednesday, according to media such as Bloomberg and Financial Times .

Neither company has made valuations, but Monsanto shares soared almost 9% yesterday in mid-session on Wall Street, reaching $ 98 per share and a capitalization of $ 43 billion. Bayer, for its part, fell almost 5% yesterday on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The manufacturer of Aspirin is worth about 90,000 million euros on the stock market.

World leader

The operation would create the world's largest seed and crop chemical company. Monsanto, for its part, is the world's largest seed supplier, with a market share of 26%, ahead of the US DuPont, which has 21%.

Bayer is now studying how to finance the operation, which would include a possible sale of assets. The German company recorded a turnover of more than 46,000 million euros last year, 12% more, while profit increased 20%, to 4,110 million euros. Monsanto, for its part, registered net sales of 15,000 million dollars in fiscal year 2015 (which closed in August), 5% less, and a result of 2,314 million dollars that implied a fall of 16%.

The movement would take a new step in the consolidation of the sector, the protagonist of recent operations such as the union of the American companies Dow Chemical and Dupont for 130,000 million dollars; and ChemChina's purchase of Syngenta for $ 43 billion. Monsanto also made an offer for Syngenta last year, which eventually passed into the hands of the Chinese company.

Other sources, such as the Street Insider website, have also pointed to the interest of the German chemical group Basf in Monsanto. Basf, which fell more than 2% on the stock market yesterday, declined to comment on a possible operation.

The integration between Bayer and Monsanto will have to be submitted, in any case, to the competition authorities, which have shown themselves to be very demanding in recent months. Brussels has just blocked the sale of the operator O2 by Telefónica, and, in the United States, three operations have been halted in just a few weeks due to the demands of regulators: the merger of the Pfizer and Allergan laboratories, the purchase of the company from Baker Hughes Petroleum Services by Halliburton and the integration of the Home Depot and Staples stationery companies.

A possible takeover by Bayer on Monsanto would encourage, in any case, the market for mergers and acquisitions in the United States, which has been severely weakened in the first quarter of the year, when only 2,442 acquisitions were closed, the lowest figure since 2009. First-quarter transactions moved $ 260 billion, a figure that contrasts with $ 820 billion in the last three months of last year.

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