Germany's Bayer AG boosted its takeover bid for Monsanto Co. to about $65 billion, hoping the sweeter offer will overcome the U.S. seed company's resistance to the giant tie-up.
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Bayer made the new $125-a-share offer verbally on July 1 and more formally eight days later, it said in a statement Thursday, confirming an earlier report by The Wall Street Journal. The new bid represents a $3-a-share bump from an earlier offer that Monsanto rejected as too low. The St. Louis company also had said the proposal didn't address potential financing and regulatory risks.
Bayer said it made the new offer after it received additional information in private discussions. The two companies had been at loggerheads over Bayer's desire for access to so-called due-diligence, which Monsanto had refused to give in the absence of a higher offer, the Journal had previously reported.
The German life-sciences company said Thursday 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 also offered a $1.5 billion reverse-breakup fee should a deal be blocked on antitrust grounds.
A Monsanto spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
Bayer in May offered to buy Monsanto for $62 billion, a value that, like the current aggregate amount, includes debt.
In the statement, Bayer said it "believes that its offer fully captures the intrinsic value of Monsanto," adding that the new bid represents a 40% premium to Monsanto's share price in early May.
A number of analysts have said they see Monsanto's fair valuation in a per-share range of $130 to $140.
By Eyk Henning, Natalia Drozdiak at and Jacob Bunge.