After only 10 days on the job, Bayer’s new Chief Executive Werner Baumann sent a letter in early May to Hugh Grant, the CEO of Monsanto, announcing his intention to buy the U.S. agrochemicals firm for $62 billion, or €55.2 billion.
It was a bold move by Mr. Baumann, who knows Bayer well, having been its head of strategy from 2014, and before that as its chief financial officer.
Bayer, Germany’s largest pharmaceuticals group, on Monday confirmed details of the offer to acquire the world’s largest maker of seeds and pesticides. But investors were not so persuaded by the wisdom of the deal or the price as Mr. Baumann was. Bayer’s shares fell 2.8 percent to €87 ($97), touching a two-and-a-half year low.