According to reports German drugs and chemicals firm Bayer is set to capture US seeds company Monsanto Company(NYSE:MON).
The purchase would be finalized after extended talks and is believed to value Monsanto close to $66 billion.
Bayer reportedly has rose its bid to $129 per share and deal is poised to be made public on Tuesday. The purchase would make the world’s largest seeds and Pesticides Company. As joining Bayer and Monsanto would make it the market front-runner in the US, Europe and Asia.
On 5 September, Bayer made its latest increased offer of $127.50 per share. Monsanto rejected this, but said it was engaged in “constructive negotiations” with Bayer.
The latest $66bn offer – which would be the largest cash acquisition on record – comes amid a wave of mergers in the agriculture sector.
Rivals including Dow Chemical, DuPont and Syngenta have all announced tie-ups recently, although some have yet to be cleared by regulators.
The drop in commodity prices has put pressure on companies such as Monsanto, with farmers’ cutting orders for supplies.
A Bayer takeover of Monsanto is likely to draw close scrutiny from anti-trust regulators because of the sheer size of the combined company and the control it would have over the global seeds and sprays markets.
Farming groups have raised concerns that such mergers could lead to fewer choices and higher prices while opponents of genetically modified food in Europe worry about Monsanto’s influence on the continent.
Monsanto is famous for its genetically altered seeds for crops like corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat and sugar cane. Such seeds have enticed disapproval from some ecological activists. Meanwhile Bayer’s farm business produces seeds along with chemicals to battle weeds and insects, but it is better known for its healthcare products such as Aspirin and Alka-Seltzer.