Monsanto Says $62 Billion Bayer Merger Offer Is “Financially Inadequate”

A day after aspirin king Bayer officially offered $62 billion to acquire Missouri seed and pesticide giant Monsanto, the deal already appears troubled, with Monsanto’s board of directors saying the offer isn’t sufficient.

More precisely, the Monsanto board unanimously dubbed the Bayer offer as “incomplete and financially inadequate,” though the deal is not yet dead.

The Missouri-based company says it remains open to “constructive conversations to assess whether a transaction in the best interest of Monsanto shareowners can be achieved.”

In a statement, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant — no, not that Hugh Grant, though that would be awesome — acknowledged that there are benefits to be seen from combining Bayer’s significant CropScience division with Monsanto’s existing properties, thereby creating the world’s largest player in the seed and agricultural chemicals business, but contends that the current proposal “significantly undervalues our company and also does not adequately address or provide reassurance for some of the potential financing and regulatory execution risks related to the acquisition.”

Both Monsanto and Bayer are under pressure to consolidate, following recent similar mega-mergers by Dow and DuPont, and China National Chemical Corp.’s $43 billion acquisition of Syngenta — a company that Monsanto unsuccessfully tried to buy in 2015.