German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said Thursday its two-year pursuit of US-based Monsanto over, as the two firms signed off a $63-billion merger deal. “Shares in the US company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company,” the German firm said in a statement. In an industry preparing for a global population surge with billions more mouths to feed, Bayer was keen to get its hands on Monsanto’s market-leading line in GM crop seeds designed to resist strong pesticides. It was also lured by Monsanto’s data analytics business Climate Corp, believing farmers will in future rely on digital monitoring of their crops.
The tie-up comes amid a wave of consolidation in the agrochemicals industry, spurring Bayer to become a bigger player if it did not want to get left behind. Hoping to ditch Monsanto’s toxic reputation, Bayer will drop the company’s name from its products after the takeover. Dubbed “Monsatan” and “Mutanto”, the US firm has for decades been targeted by environmental groups, especially in Europe, who believe that GM food could be unsafe to eat. What does this mean for farmers and consumers? Read full article