Monsanto's books remain closed after Bayer bid rejection

Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, was yet to open its books more than two weeks after it rejected Bayer AG's $62 billion acquisition offer but had left the door open to a possible deal, according to people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported.

According to commentators, the impasse showed that there had been little progress in negotiations since Monsanto on 24 May turned down the offer of its German peer ($122-per-share cash offer) but said it was open to "continued and constructive conversations."

Monsanto said that Bayer's offer "significantly undervalues (the) company and also does not adequately address or provide reassurance for some of the potential financing and regulatory execution risks related to the acquisition."

However, Bayer had no plans to up its offer without first reviewing Monsanto's confidential information, the sources said on condition of anonymity due to the confidentiality of the talks.

The sources added that Bayer needed access to Monsanto's books before it could decide whether it could pay a higher price, and also offer a more detailed plan on how to address potential antitrust risks.

The sources added that Bayer currently had no intentions to go hostile.

Meanwhile, shares of Monsanto were down by 0.92 per cent to $109.06 last afternoon, after the company rejected Bayer's second attempt at a takeover.

The St Louis, Missouri-based agricultural product provider rejected Bayer's takeover offer of $62 billion, the same price as a first takeover attempt on 25 May, according to CNBC, www.thestreet.com reported yesterday.