The German chemical giant Bayer may be prepared to go hostile in its bid for U.S. seed company Monsanto.
In a release in mid-July, the company said it is “absolutely determined to complete this transaction,” referring to the company’s bid to acquire U.S. agro-bio giant Monsanto. At first glance it was a fairly standard corporate comment. But coming from Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann—he had the quote attributed to him personally—the statement had wider significance. Appearing soon after Bayer increased its original offer, it was a clear signal that Mr. Baumann was prepared to force through the deal, with or without the agreement of the Monsanto board.
The . . . chemicals and pharmaceutical giant announced its takeover plans for Monsanto three months ago. Since then Mr. Baumann has been locked in negotiations with Monsanto’s executives. The talks are now reaching their decisive phase. The next weeks will reveal whether the two sides can come to an agreement. . . If not, Bayer is prepared to appeal directly to Monsanto’s shareholders, over the heads of the board, said sources close to the company. . . .
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