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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday September 15 2016, @02:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the gimme-an-aspirin dept.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-monsanto-m-a-bayer-deal-idUSKCN11K128

German drugs and crop chemicals company Bayer has won over U.S. seeds firm Monsanto with an improved takeover offer of $66 billion including debt, ending months of wrangling after increasing its bid for a third time. The $128 a share deal announced on Wednesday, up from Bayer's previous offer of $127.50 a share, is the biggest of the year so far and the largest cash bid on record.

The transaction will create a company commanding more than a quarter of the combined world market for seeds and pesticides in a fast-consolidating farm supplies industry. However, competition authorities are likely to scrutinize the tie-up closely, and some of Bayer's own shareholders have been critical of a takeover plan which they say is too expensive and risks neglecting the company's pharmaceutical business.

"Bayer's competitors are merging, so not doing this deal would mean having a competitive disadvantage," said Markus Manns, a fund manager at Union Investment, one of Bayer's top 12 investors, according to ThomsonReuters data.


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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:19PM (#402310)

    Ginormous
    Merged
    Organization

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @09:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @09:05PM (#402474)

      "Five-Alarm Threat to Our Food Supply": Monsanto-Bayer Merger Advances [commondreams.org]

      The merger between the two chemical behemoths has been long anticipated, and antitrust experts [as well as] environmental groups have been warning against the takeover for months.

      A legal opinion by two former Justice Department officials released in August decried the merger as "a five-alarm threat to our food supply and to farmers around the world."
      [...]
      "We are pleased that next week the Senate Judiciary Committee will be reviewing the alarming trend of consolidation in agriculture that has led to less competition, stifled innovation, higher prices, and job loss in rural America," said National Farmers Union president Andrew Johnson. "We underscore the importance that all mergers, including this recent Bayer/Monsanto deal, be put under the magnifying glass of the committee and the U.S. Department of Justice."
      [...]
      "The Farben family chemical cartel [that includes Bayer and Monsanto] was responsible for exterminating people in concentration camps", adds [Sydney Peace Prize-winning environmental activist Dr. Vandana] Shiva. "It embodies a century of ecocide and genocide, carried out in the name of scientific experimentation and innovation."

      Monsanto Takeover Would Be "Disaster for Global Food System" [commondreams.org]

      "In an industry that was already dominated by only six big agribusinesses, this latest news will lead to even further market concentration as more mergers and takeovers will now become inevitable. We're speeding towards a situation where our global food system is controlled by a very few giant corporate entities who will have complete control of our food - what we eat and how it is grown.

      "This is extremely bad news for farmers and consumers across the globe. We already know that these agri-businesses use aggressive techniques to further their market share and increase profit margins and do not act in the best interests of small-scale farmers, public health, or the environment. The fight to regain control of our food system, and push for alternatives such as food sovereignty, is now more important than ever.

      "We call on anti-competition regulators to recognise that this takeover would present a serious threat to public interest and must step in and prevent it from taking place."

      .
      I'm reminded once again of "Rollerball" (1976) and how a megacorporation controls the existence of every individual in a region as well as controlling an entire industry.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Friday September 16 2016, @10:52AM

        by driverless (4770) on Friday September 16 2016, @10:52AM (#402708)

        The Farben family chemical cartel

        I never knew that the Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie, aka. IG Farben, was actually a family chemical cartel named after Albert and Ethel Farben. You learn something new every day. I'm guessing it's a different IG Farben than the one that introduced the world to antibiotics and won several Nobel prizes in chemistry and medicine for their work. The "century of genocide" only lasted a few years in the 1940s.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16 2016, @05:03PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16 2016, @05:03PM (#402868)

          "Well, there's spam, egg, sausage, and spam. That's not got MUCH spam in it."

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:24PM (#402312)

    Bayer's competitors are merging, so not doing this deal would mean having a competitive disadvantage

    If you're pretty small, then I suppose I can see that, but if you are already a huge corporation, are you really at a significant competitive disadvantage if you don't become a gigantic huge corporation? This sounds like "common sense" reasoning that really isn't true.

    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:13PM

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:13PM (#402339)

      These mergers are building on vertical integration in their markets. Monsanto's chemical business is weak these days, but their seed business is strong. Bayer is in the opposite position so combining them creates a company that is now strong in both areas. They are also have different levels of market penetration in different markets around the world. Combining the companies now means that it will be easier for one side to sell into markets where the other has a bigger presence. Plus they will be able to save on overall costs by reducing redundancies in the combined companies. All of this allows for growing their business revenues (and profits, and market cap). Today if you are a big, profitable company but with a stagnate stock price, you are painting a target on your back no matter how big you are.

      It used to be that there was only room for 2 or 3 big companies in any industry or sector in a given city, but across states and countries there was room for others in that industry. Then it grew to where it was at the country level, but companies in other countries or regions of the world really didn't compete. Now for more and more industries we are at the point where competition is global, and we are seeing industries consolidate through mergers, buyouts, and attrition on a world wide scale. Welcome to the global economy.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @09:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @09:07PM (#402478)

        I understand the theoretical benefits you mentioned for merging, but if they didn't, would Monsanto be at any significant disadvantage with their seed business and Bayer with their chemical business, if they didn't merge. The fund manager's statement suggests that they are compelled to do this, but since they are separate industries, that isn't entirely clear to me that they are hurt by not merging. Upper management clearly makes out, but it isn't obvious that it is a business necessity.

        • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Friday September 16 2016, @03:04PM

          by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 16 2016, @03:04PM (#402816)

          Because other companies in their sectors have, and it's easier to sell the whole stack to the end customers.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday September 15 2016, @10:20PM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Thursday September 15 2016, @10:20PM (#402505) Homepage
        Soooo.... what you're saying is that they're using vertical synergy to leverage their core competances?

        Anyway, do we have to drink when anyone says the word "merger"?
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:30PM (#402314)

    1. Take two of the most unethical multinational corporations in history.
    2. Merge them and let them have a monopolistic level control over foodstuffs in a handful of countries including the USA where food safety has been subject to complete regulatory capture.
    3. ???
    4. Fun times ahoy!

    I'd recommend they really seal the deal by merging with DuPont as well.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:43PM (#402359)

      In the own words of Marijn Dekkers Bayer's CEO their drugs are not for poor people [youtube.com].
      Likewise, Monsanto GMOs are only for people that can pay them, even if are due to contaminatation by nearby crops.
      Now pushing for copyright infringment to be punished with 10 years in prison.

      Soon medicines and food only for those that pay them (or slave for them). Or for criminals that pirate they IP dare to plant their own crops or for criminals in prison for copyright infringment.

      I'm going to skip the 1984, Farenheit 451, Brazil references since the scientific papers are already paywalled by publisher corps and the next step probably will be to burn all the books.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:45PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:45PM (#402322) Homepage Journal

    Monsanto is facing some lawsuits, which it may or may not be able to win. They see an advantage to merging with Bayer, and letting Bayer fight the legal battles.

    But, no matter how true or false that may be - I wasn't expecting Monsanto to be bought up by anyone. I thought they were a damend big fish in the ocean to start with. I guess any corp can be bought and sold though. They are all in it for the money, and damn everything else.

    --
    Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:52PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:52PM (#402325) Journal

      Monsanto tried to purchase Syngenta [wikipedia.org] for $40 billion. That deal fell through, and the Chinese state-owned ChemChina ended up buying Syngenta for $43 billion.

      This is the 3rd chemical gigamerger after that one and DowDuPont [wikipedia.org], which is going to be split up.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:57PM (#402331)

      Have any of the presidential candidates promised to beef up anti-trust?

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:04PM

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:04PM (#402334) Journal

        If I had to guess, it would be Jill Stein.

        Both Stein and Johnson have filed an antitrust suit [cnn.com] against the Commission on Presidential Debates, which messes with the search results a bit.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:24PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:24PM (#402345)

          > If I had to guess, it would be Jill Stein.

          Clinton. [qz.com]

          I will prevent concentration in the first place by beefing up the antitrust enforcement arms of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. I will direct more resources to hire aggressive regulators who will conduct in-depth industry research to better understand the link between market consolidation and stagnating incomes. Ultimately, this will foster a change in corporate culture that restores competition to the marketplace.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @07:07PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @07:07PM (#402416)

            If only I could actually believe that Ms Goldman Sachs means that beyond, "Don't vote for Bernie, I'm just a left as he is."

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @07:17PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @07:17PM (#402420)

              At least she went officially on the record.
              That's the basis for holding politicians accountable.

              • (Score: 4, Informative) by Geotti on Thursday September 15 2016, @08:48PM

                by Geotti (1146) on Thursday September 15 2016, @08:48PM (#402466) Journal

                "I will close Gitmo," "no (more) boots in Iraq and Syria," "get out of Afghanistan" say what? Sorry, but nobody will remember her populistic promises, once she starts WWIII.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @09:36PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @09:36PM (#402486)

                  > "I will close Gitmo," "no (more) boots in Iraq and Syria," "get out of Afghanistan" say what?

                  Don't be that dumbass who thinks that if 100% of promises are not kept then no promises were kept.
                  Guys like make it easier for politicians to bail on their promises because if they get no credit, why bother keeping any promises?

                  http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/ [politifact.com]
                  Promise Kept      45%
                  Compromise        25%
                  Promise Broken    22%
                  Stalled            2%
                  In the Works       6%

                  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by t-3 on Friday September 16 2016, @12:22AM

                    by t-3 (4907) on Friday September 16 2016, @12:22AM (#402545) Journal

                    These statistics mean nothing. The promises Obama made loudest, the most times, in front of the most people, were the ones he broke. Whether or not he was "mostly honest" overall taking all his statements at an equal ranking doesn't matter, because the promises that carried weight with the electorate were broken, and he allowed political gridlock and bs to give us a raw deal on the one major promise he kept/tried to keep.

                    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16 2016, @12:35AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16 2016, @12:35AM (#402550)

                      > he allowed political gridlock and bs to give us a raw deal on the one major promise he kept/tried to keep.

                      Yeah, he allowed gridlock.
                      Its insights like that which keep me coming back to soylent.

                      • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Friday September 16 2016, @04:34AM

                        by t-3 (4907) on Friday September 16 2016, @04:34AM (#402619) Journal

                        Obama/Romney/WTF-Care was worse for mostly everyone. Rather than scrap the whole thing when it gets to that point, Obama and the Democrats pushed it through and called it a victory. So yes, he allowed gridlock to fuck over the people he was purportedly helping. Not "allowed gridlock", but "allowed gridlock to fuck over"... but reading comprehension is a bit much to expect from an AC I guess.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday September 16 2016, @02:46PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 16 2016, @02:46PM (#402804) Homepage Journal

            the woman "pivots" so often, you don't even know which side of her mouth she is talking out of. The last time I believed anything she said was - ohhhh - let me think - well, I don't guess I EVER believed anything she said.

            --
            Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:59PM

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 15 2016, @03:59PM (#402332)

      When I worked at Anheuser-Busch we thought that as well. We're AB! We're profitable! We make money hand over fist! We're not getting bought by some foreign company that's barely even the same size as we are! That's crazy!
       
      Six months later and we were lined up to welcome our new Brazilian banker overlords from Belgium. So yea, even a whale can get bought out if a another whale can get the financing lined up.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:27PM (#402347)

        That's the beauty of a leveraged buyout. The company's own value is the collateral for the loan to purchase it.

    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Thursday September 15 2016, @05:22PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Thursday September 15 2016, @05:22PM (#402371)

      I guess any corp can be bought and sold though. They are all in it for the money, and damn everything else.

      Most likely scenario is that the largest stockholders figure the risk of loss from the lawsuits is higher than the certain pay off from selling out now, so they are skipping out on the company.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday September 16 2016, @02:49PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 16 2016, @02:49PM (#402807) Homepage Journal

        Yes, that's exactly how the talk show host painted the picture. Exactly. Let Bayer handle any costs, including settlements, we've already got ours.

        --
        Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
  • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:08PM

    by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:08PM (#402336)

    Are you sure it isn't $666 billion? Or $66.6?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:10PM (#402337)

    great news! maybe they will splice HIV into the crops and add the antidote to their pesticides. They(Bayer) can gt it from the blood they knew was infected with HIV that they shipped to central america. Whatever they do, I'm sure this will be good for consumers.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bradley13 on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:39PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 15 2016, @04:39PM (#402357) Homepage Journal

    Companies this size should not exist. Bayer is definitely in the "too big to fail" category.

    I'm not normally one for government intervention in the market, but: beyond a certain size, mergers should be forbidden. Beyond some other certain size, companies should be forced to split or divest.

    The same could be said of governments. Local government generally works well, if only because you know where the idiots live. Above a few million, well, governments may also be too big to exist. Brexit is good. Scexit (Scotland exit) would be even better. No entities, corporate or governmental, with a total value/turnover/whatever over a few $billion.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @09:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15 2016, @09:06PM (#402476)

      The bodycount isn't high enough to institute it, and the odds of being able to keep globalization actors from simply reamassing corrupt politicians from the smaller governmetns back into a bigger one are not odds in normal people's favor (unless, as mentioned above, bodycount goes up, so nobody is willing to risk it.)

      Governments do need to be held accountable, but we're long past the point where rule of law will get us there. That is not saying to replace it with anarchy, but rather careful selection of the most corrupt members of each nation's politico and public examples being made of them to keep the rest in line.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16 2016, @01:10AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16 2016, @01:10AM (#402570)

    That makes Comcast/Time Warner look like a bunch of street hoods by comparison.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16 2016, @06:31PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16 2016, @06:31PM (#402892)

    "Bayer's competitors are merging, so not doing this deal would mean having a competitive disadvantage," said Markus Manns, a fund manager at Union Investment, one of Bayer's top 12 investors, according to ThomsonReuters data.

    Isn't this a good reason to not allow this merger. There is less competition than ever, thus consumers need even less competition and more mergers.