BERLIN — German drug and chemicals company Bayer AG has put a price tag of $62 billion on its offer to buy U.S.-based crops and seeds specialist Monsanto, which operates a plant in St. Charles Parish.
The proposed combination would create a giant seed and farm chemical company with a strong presence in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Both companies are familiar brands on farms around the globe. Monsanto has some 20,000 employees and produces seeds for fruits, vegetables and other crops, including corn, soybeans and cotton, as well as the popular weed-killer Roundup.
Bayer’s farm business produces seeds as well as compounds to kill weeds, bugs and fungus. It employs 117,000 people worldwide.
“Monsanto is a perfect match to our agricultural business,” Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said on his company’s website. “We would combine complementary skills with minimal geographic overlap.”
Monsanto’s Luling operations employ about 645 workers. The company last month announced a $975 million investment over the next three years at the plant to support the launch of its Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System. The expansion will create 95 jobs and 20 new contractor jobs.
Bayer had said on Thursday that its executives met recently with their Monsanto counterparts “to privately discuss a negotiated acquisition.”
Bayer said the all-cash offer values shares of Monsanto at $122 each. That compares with a closing price Friday of $101.52 and is 37 percent higher than the closing price of $89.03 on May 9, the day before Bayer made a written proposal to Monsanto.
Bayer said it plans to finance the acquisition with a combination of debt and equity, the latter to be raised largely by issuing new shares.
The German company said that it “is prepared to proceed immediately to due diligence and negotiations and to quickly agree to a transaction.”
“The acquisition of Monsanto checks all the boxes in terms of strategic fit and value creation potential,” Baumann said. “At the same time, ongoing consolidation activities in the industry make this combination by far the most attractive one.”