US genetically modified (GM) seeds company Monsanto is reported to be in talks with Germany’s BASF after rejecting a $62bn (£47bn) takeover offer from Bayer.
And it appears to be good news all round for the three companies’ share prices. In the US, Monsanto’s shares are up nearly two per cent to $102.80 in out-of-hours trading; Bayer’s are up one per cent to €94.08 this morning; and BASF’s have increased by more than two per cent to €71.11.
Monsanto is in talks with BASF over a possible combination of their agrochemicals businesses, Bloomberg first reported. One option being explored would see the US company acquire BASF’s agriculture-solutions units in return for shares.
It was reported that discussions are at an early stage and talks with Bayer are ongoing.
At the end of last month, when reporting its quarterly earnings, Monsanto said it was discussing “alternative strategic options” after rejecting the takeover offer in May. It had described the bid as “financially inadequate”.
Monsanto chairman and chief executive Hugh Grant said: “I have been personally in discussions with Bayer’s management over the last several weeks, along with others regarding alternative strategic options.
“We continue to recognise the potential value these types of combinations can create as they accelerate innovation and increase choice for farmers across a broader set of crops, geographies and production practices, while improving the sustainability of agriculture around the world.
“That is why we remain open and will continue to actively engage in constructive dialogue to pursue value enhancing strategic options.”
Monsanto declined to comment today.