With Bayer’s proposed $66 billion purchase of Monsanto Co., the company that invented aspirin is poised to take on one of the world’s biggest corporate headaches. A potential cure: dropping the Monsanto name.
The German drug and chemical conglomerate is considering that move to avoid sullying its reputation, according to people familiar with internal discussions at Bayer who asked not to be named because the talks are private. No decision has been made, and Bayer’s managers will have some time to think: thanks to antitrust reviews in some 30 jurisdictions worldwide, the purchase isn’t likely to be completed before late 2017.
…Bayer will need to integrate a company known for making the herbicide Agent Orange for use in the Vietnam War and tangling with environmental groups over genetically-modified crops.
One possibility would be to market Monsanto products such as seed corn and Roundup herbicide under the Bayer CropScience name…
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…Monsanto Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant signaled he’s open to a change.
“I’ve been very flexible,” Grant said after the deal was announced on Sept. 14. “The key is less about the name and more about the products developed.”
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