Germany's Bayer to complete Monsanto purchase on Thurday



According to a press release, Bayer will remain the company name, noting that all the products acquired in the deal will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio.

Last September, Monsanto accepted an offer from Bayer to $57 billion to its shareholders and assume $9 billion in debt.

Bayer said that, following the takeover, "Monsanto will no longer be a company name".

The board of German pharmaceutical and agriculture goods giant Bayer AG on Sunday approved the sale of 74.6 million shares as it raises the cash to complete its acquisition of U.S. seed and fertilizer firm Monsanto Co.

Bayer is also committed to further enhancing stakeholder engagement. Seed patents, which Monsanto has fought to defend. After Bayer acquires Monsanto, "suddenly, the leading seller of GMOs [will] be European, rather than American", Charles writes.

As agrichemical firms scramble to respond with new pesticides and resistant seeds, there are fears of an arms race with ever-more-potent weedkillers.

Bayer has said it would very soon close the transaction, which it needs to do because after June 14, Monsanto could withdraw from the takeover agreement and seek a higher price.

Some scientists already suspect glyphosate causes cancer, with a 2015 World Health Organization study determining it was "probably carcinogenic" - although Bayer has contested the research.

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But activists are lobbying governments and France has vowed to outlaw the substance within three years.

NPR's Charles has reported extensively on genetically modified organisms.

With the world population set to reach nearly 10 billion people by 2050, Bayer argues its products and methods are needed to meet demand for food.

The capital increase was "a significant component of the financing for the acquisition of Monsanto and the final equity measure associated with this undertaking", said chief executive Werner Baumann.

Bayer will create an agricultural supplies giant with sales of about 20 billion euros, based on 2017 figures, when taking into account the divestments.

The move is meant to help Bayer distance itself from continuing controversy and protests in response to Monsanto's products and business practices. "We have diligently prepared for the upcoming integration over the past two years".

Nevertheless, the ratings agency downgraded its score for Bayer's debt from "A-" to "BBB", while upgrading the outlook to "stable".

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