Bayer completes acquisition of Monsanto

Bayer completes acquisition of Monsanto

German chemical and pharma major Bayer on Thursday announced completion of the $63 billion mega-deal to acquire US-based biotech major Monsanto to create the world's biggest agro-chemical and seed company.

The deal, which was announced in September 2016, was closed on Thursday after Bayer got all necessary regulatory approvals from various countries including the US and India.

"Bayer successfully completed the acquisition of Monsanto on Thursday," the German firm said in a statement.

In India, both entities have presence in production and sale of vegetable seeds, cotton seeds as well as in production and sale of non-selective herbicides.

The shares of Monsanto would no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company, it added.

Monsanto shareholders are being paid $128 per share. The deal value is about $63 billion taking into account Monsanto's debt outstanding as of February 28, 2018.

According to the conditional approval from the United States Department of Justice, the integration of Monsanto into Bayer would take place after divestment of certain assets to BASF gets completed.

This integration process is expected to commence in approximately two months, Bayer said.

Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Bayer Board of Management, said: "Today is a great day: for our customers – farmers around the world whom we will be able to help secure and improve their harvests even better; for our shareholders, because this transaction has the potential to create significant value; and for consumers and broader society, because we will be even better placed to help the world’s farmers grow more healthy and affordable food in a sustainable manner."

Hugh Grant, outgoing chairman and CEO of Monsanto said, "Today’s closing represents an important milestone toward the vision of creating a leading agricultural company, supporting growers in their efforts to be more productive and sustainable for the benefit of our planet and consumers."

Liam Condon, member of the Bayer Board of Management, will lead the combined crop science division when the integration commences. Until that time, Monsanto will operate independently from Bayer.

Earlier this week, German firm had said that the company name will remain Bayer and not Monsanto. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio.

Last month, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved this deal. It assumed significance as Monsanto is facing opposition from various quarters within India over promotion of genetically modified crops, as also over royalty and patent issues. 

Bayer needed approval from 30 countries for the merger of worldwide operations of the two companies.

The acquisition of Monsanto will create a global leader in agriculture with a broad portfolio, providing superior product offerings and tailor-made solutions to farmers across all crops, in all geographies, the German chemical and pharma firm had said.

Both the companies have presence in India, with the US firm selling genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds in the country for more than a decade.

Bayer group is present in India since 1896 and it has two divisions -- crop science and pharmaceutical. The group has one listed entity in India -- Bayer CropScience Ltd that posted a revenue from operation of nearly Rs 3,000 crore last fiscal.

Bayer India had an annual revenue of 600 million euros (about Rs 4,700 crore) in 2017, Richard van der Merwe, the senior Bayer representative, South Asia, had said in January this year.

Monsanto would add seed business to Bayer's already significant crop science and pharmaceutical business in India.