Bayer close in on Monsanto deal

Bayer plans to complete the acquisition of Monsanto on June, 7, following the receipt of all required approvals from regulatory authorities, according to Werner Baumann, chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG. “The acquisition of Monsanto is a strategic milestone in strengthening our portfolio of leading businesses in health and nutrition. We will double the size of our agriculture business and create a leading innovation engine in agriculture, positioning us to better serve our customers and unlock the long-term growth potential in the sector.”

Bayer announced its intention to acquire Monsanto in May 2016 and signed an agreement with the U.S. company for 128 U.S. dollars per share in September 2016. Currently that corresponds to a total cost of approximately 63 billion U.S. dollars taking into account Monsanto’s debt outstanding as of February 28, 2018. In connection with the comprehensive regulatory approval process, Bayer has agreed to the divestiture of businesses which generated 2.2 billion euros in sales in 2017 for an aggregate base purchase price of 7.6 billion euros. Including Monsanto and taking the divestitures into account, the health and agriculture businesses would have been roughly equal in size in 2017, with total pro forma sales of around 45 billion euros including combined Crop Science sales of around 20 billion euros. In 2017, both companies together employed approximately 115,000 people, accounting for the divestments.

The acquisition is anticipated to generate significant value. Bayer expects a positive contribution to core earnings per share starting in 2019. From 2021 onward, that contribution is expected to be double-digit percentage. Moreover, adjusted for divestments, Bayer expects synergies to deliver annual contributions of 1.2 billion U.S. dollars to EBITDA before special items as of 2022.

In order to acquire Monsanto, Bayer secured initial bridge financing of 57 billion U.S. dollars. As announced in September 2016, this is being refinanced by a combination of equity and debt transactions, some of which have already been completed. The final equity measure will be a rights issue, which was announced yesterday.

Bayer will become the sole shareholder of Monsanto on June 7. According to the conditional approval from the United States Department of Justice, the integration of Monsanto into Bayer can take place as soon as the divestments to BASF have been completed. This is expected to be in approximately two months. “We have diligently prepared for the upcoming integration over the past two years. Our extensive experience in integrating other large companies has proven that we can and will be successful,” said Herr Baumann.

Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio.

“Innovation is vital to produce more healthy, safe and affordable food for a growing population in a more sustainable manner. The combination of the two businesses will allow us to deliver more innovation faster and provide solutions tailored to the needs of farmers around the world,” said Liam Condon, Bayer Board Member and President of the Crop Science Division. “Going forward, our teams in the labs and in the field will be able to take a much more holistic approach to innovation as we address the enormous challenges we face in agriculture.”

Including Monsanto and taking the divestitures into account, the total R&D investment of Bayer in 2017 would have been around 5.7 billion euros. Of that, 2.4 billion euros would have been spent in the combined agriculture business on a pro forma basis.

Bayer is fully aware of the heightened responsibility that a leadership position in agriculture entails. The company will continue to further strengthen its commitment in the area of sustainability. As a leader, Bayer is fully committed to upholding the highest ethical and responsibility standards, strengthening access to health and nutrition, and further reducing its environmental footprint. “We will apply the same rigor to achieving our sustainability targets as we do to our financial targets,” said Baumann.

Bayer is also committed to further enhancing stakeholder engagement. Baumann said: “We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It’s the only way to build bridges.”

Get Our E-Newsletter - breaking news to your in-box once a week
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Share.

About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.