German drugs and chemicals giant Bayer has improved its bid for US GM seeds company Monsanto after its previous $62bn (£46bn) offer was branded “financially inadequate”.
Bayer said that, after engaging in private talks with Monsanto, it had improved its offer from $122 per share to $125.
In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Bayer said it had "offered a $1.5bn reverse antitrust break fee", adding that it was "fully committed to pursuing this transaction".
Monsanto’s shares are currently up around three per cent to $103.66, while Bayer’s are also up, 0.5 per cent to €93.44.
Bayer said in a statement on Thursday afternoon:
Over the past several weeks Bayer has engaged in private talks with Monsanto. Following receipt of additional information Bayer has raised its all-cash offer to Monsanto shareholders from USD 122 to USD 125 per share verbally on July 1 and in an updated proposal submitted to Monsanto on July 9. In addition, it has comprehensively addressed Monsanto's questions concerning financing and regulatory matters and is prepared to make certain commitments to regulators, if required, to complete the proposed acquisition of Monsanto.
Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann said: "We are convinced that this transaction is the best opportunity available to provide Monsanto shareholders with highly attractive, immediate and certain value. Bayer is fully committed to pursuing this transaction."
The improved offer comes after it was reported last night that Monsanto was in talks with German company BASF.