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Bayer to snap up £50bn Monsanto

By Kalyeena Makortoff

German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer is to acquire Monsanto in a $66bn (£50bn) deal that will create the world's largest seeds and pesticides company.

The all-cash agreement will see Bayer acquire the business at $128 per share (£97).

The firm has been courting the US crops and seeds specialist for months, and the German company previously offered $125 per share.

That was turned down by Monsanto, which deemed the price inadequate.

Bayer later sweetened its bid, raising its offer incrementally until agreeing to the deal at $128 per share.

Werner Baumann, the chief executive of Bayer, said: "We are pleased to announce the combination of our two great organisations.

"This represents a major step forward for our crop science business and reinforces Bayer's leadership position as a global, innovation-driven life science company with leadership positions in its core segments, delivering substantial value to shareholders, our customers, employees and society at large."

Bayer said sales in the combined agriculture business would be worth as much as €23bn, based on 2015 figures, adding that its annual research and development budget could total €2.5bn. But John Colley, a professor at Warwick Business School, warned it may be too soon to celebrate the deal.

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