Bayer chief executive calls environmental groups to discuss about Monsanto bid

EPA/OLIVER BERG

Bayer Chief executive Werner Baumann added that the German firm needed to make a “very attractive offer which values Monsanto full.”

Agrochemical giant Monsanto has already rejected Bayer’s €52 billion acquisition proposal but it said that it was open to engage in more acquisition talks


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Chief executive of Bayer, Werner Baumann said that he is willing to hold discussion with environmental groups to address their concerns about Bayer’s plan to acquire the US bio engineering giant Monsanto.

Baumann gave an interview with the Sunday newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung saying that “as much as I talk to our investors to convince them of the plans, the offer also stands for environmental groups and other non-governmental organisations…Let’s talk about the matter and its prospects,” he said.

Many environmentalists have targeted the US firm mainly because it is suspected of delivering products which are linked with cancer. On May 22, tens of thousands of people marched worldwide against Monsanto. About 2,500 people staged anti-Monsanto protests in the Swiss cities of Basel and Morges, where the company has its headquarters for Europe and Africa.

Moreover, about 3,000 protesters, gathered in Paris, demonstrating against Monsanto’s market-leading herbicide Roundup which contains, glyphosate, a suspected cancer-linked herbicide that is an essential component in the expansion of GMO crops.

Baumann said on Sunday that Bayer’s “way of doing business may differ from the way Monsanto does,” adding that he can assure everybody “that we would conduct these businesses based on the same standards as our other operations.”

He also said that Bayer may drop the Monsanto name after the completion of the deal. “We’ll decide that (dropping the Monsanto name) when the time comes. Suffice to say that Bayer enjoys an excellent reputation and appeal worldwide. We must take advantage of that,” he stressed.

Still, after the confirmation of the Bayer preliminary talks with Monsanto, the share price of the German giant has declined. When Bayer officially confirmed the talks, on May 19, the price of the Bayer stock fell at €90.56. Now it stands €86.10 as it is reported that the investors believe that the biding offer to Monsanto is very high.

Baumann insisted that Bayer needed to make a “very attractive offer which values Monsanto full,” stressing that the company’s “finances are solid,” and therefore the deal will be financed “solely through a mixture of loans and own funds.”

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