Agrochemicals Merger

Politics Clouds Bayer's Monsanto Bid

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop in Spencer, Iowa December 5, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Political observers see Donald Trump opposing the Bayer-Monsanto merger, to drum up votes in key farming states.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Bayer may need to speak with U.S. policymakers to avoid a political backlash to its proposed merger, in addition to its negotiations with the Justice Department.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The $62 billion (€55.6 billion) Bayer-Monsanto deal is the largest takeover bid by a German company ever.
    • The deal faces intensive scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice and European regulators.
    • It would mean nearly 40 percent of American corn and soybean seeds are placed in the hands of non-U.S. companies.
  • Audio

    Audio

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When Werner Baumann, the boss of German chemicals giant Bayer, announced his plans last month to acquire U.S. rival Monsanto –  just three weeks into his new job – he knew the deal would face intensive scrutiny by U.S. and European regulators.

What he may have overlooked, however, is the political noise the move could create in a U.S. presidential election year.

A number of politicians in big farming states such as Iowa and Nebraska appear worried about the possibility of nearly 40 percent of U.S. corn and soybean seeds being sold by non-U.S. companies if Monsanto becomes German-owned.

And many are particularly concerned about a huge new titan in the agricultural business dominating the competitive landscape.

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