German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG (NYSE:BAYR) and Monsanto (NYSE:MON) are close to agreeing to a deal that will create the world's largest seed company, the FOX Business Network has learned. Bankers with knowledge of the matter say barring a deal spoiler the merger could be announced in the next 24 to 48 hours. These bankers also tell FOX Business the deal is not complete and a hitch could delay the timing or upend the transaction. Earlier this month Monsanto disclosed that it had received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Bayer AG for a potential acquisition of Monsanto and that the company was reviewing the deal. A potential combo could be worth $44 billion and would give Bayer a sizable footprint in the genetically modified crop business, according to an earlier report in the Wall Street Journal. While GMO food has become controversial for companies including Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) it remains a lucrative business. Monsanto shares have gained 8% this month as news of the deal surfaced. Press people for Bayer and Monsanto weren't immediately available for comment at the time of publication.
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