Monsanto Offer

Bayer’s $62-Billion Big Bet

Bayer's CEO Werner Baumann, in office since May 1, moved quickly to announce the $62-billion offer for rival Monsanto.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Buying Monsanto would turn Bayer into the world’s largest maker of seeds and pesticides and almost quadruple its debt level.

  • Facts


    • Bayer, Germany’s largest pharmaceutical firm, offered $62 billion in cash to buy Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of seeds and pesticides.
    • The company, based in Leverkusen, plans to issue around $15.5 billion in new equity and fund the remaining $46.5 billion by issuing debt.
    • Bayer had €16.3 billion, or $18.3 billion, in net debt as of March 31.
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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.

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