Bayer launches $7bn rights issue to finance Monsanto takeover
Bayer last week won US approval for the Monsanto takeover, clearing a major hurdle for $62.5bn deal
Bayer launched a 6 billion euros ($7bn) rights issue on Sunday, a cornerstone of the financing package for its planned $62.5bn takeover of seeds maker Monsanto.
Bayer last week won US approval for the Monsanto takeover, clearing a major hurdle for a deal that will create by far the largest seeds and pesticides maker.
The cash call is smaller than initially envisaged by Bayer because Monsanto reduced its debt while the antitrust review dragged on.
Also, Bayer raised 4.5bn euros more from selling down its stake in plastics maker Covestro than initially expected.
The German drug maker also grossed 7.6bn euros in proceeds from selling assets to BASF, as the antitrust reviews were stricter than anticipated, but that did not cut the need to raise money via a share issue because future cash flows to service debts would also be lower.
When the merger was agreed in September 2016, Bayer said it would raise $19bn worth of fresh equity capital for the takeover deal, parts of which was covered by issuing 4bn euros in mandatory convertible notes in November 2016.
Bayer has said it would close the transaction very soon, which it needs to do because Monsanto could withdraw from the takeover agreement and seek a higher price after June 14.
Bayer is set to close the transaction on June 7, according to a media report on Sunday.
Bayer will create an agricultural supplies giant with sales of about 20bn euros, based on 2017 figures, when taking into account the divestments.
At current foreign exchange rates, that compares to about 12.4bn euros at DowDuPont’s Corteva Agriscience unit, 11bn euros at ChemChina’s Syngenta and 7.9bn at BASF, including businesses to be acquired.
Updated: June 4, 2018 09:43 AM