Exclusive Report: Monsanto in Talks with BASF as Alternative to Bayer Bid

Monsanto, the U.S. seeds and pesticides maker, has revived talks with Germany’s BASF about combining their agrochemicals businesses as a more lucrative alternative to the $62-billion takeover bid from German rival Bayer, news agency Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. St. Louis-based Monsanto, the world’s largest maker of seeds and crop protection chemicals, is looking at several possible transactions, including the purchase of BASF’s agriculture-solutions business, Bloomberg reported. BASF, the world’s largest chemicals firm, would likely in return receive newly issued Monsanto shares, according to the report. As it talks with BASF, Monsanto is continuing to talk with Bayer, Germany’s largest pharmaceutical firm which also makes pesticides, about its bid worth $62 billion, or €55.8 billion, Bloomberg reported. The U.S. agrochemical company’s board, which rejected Bayer’s bid in May as too low, was split over which kind of deal would be best for its future, the news agency said. BASF and Monsanto officials declined to comment on the report. Monsanto’s shares closed down 1.2 percent at $101.13 on Wednesday.  Bayer has bid $122 a share for the U.S. company. Bayer’s stock rose 0.9 percent to €93.93 in pre-market trading in Frankfurt, while BASF’s shares rose 1.2 percent to €69.85. Earlier this year, Monsanto had talked with Bayer and BASF about potential deals after the U.S. company lost out to Chinese rival ChemChina to buy Swiss seed and pesticides maker Syngenta , Bloomberg reported in March, citing people familiar with the matter. Picture information: BASF’s chief executive Kurt Bock. Source:  Ronald Wittek / DAPD