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SUCCESSFUL FARMING: SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE BAYER-MONSANTO AGREEMENT
Successful Farming reports:

Here are 7 takeaways so far from the Bayer-Monsanto deal announced earlier this morning.

1) If you bought Monsanto stock in May, you're going to do well. The all-cash offer of $128 per share represents a premium of 44% above Monsanto's $89.03-per-share stock price on May 9, 2016. This was the date of Bayer's first offer to Monsanto.

2) The plan for now is to keep the Monsanto name. "The conversations (so far instead) have focused more on innovation, on future products, and how we accelerate that," says Hugh Grant, Monsanto CEO.

3) Plans are for Monsanto's St. Louis headquarters to play a significant role in the new company. That's according to officials for both companies. "We have discussed that St. Louis will be the logical center for seeds and biotech worldwide," says Grant.

4) Bayer and Monsanto officials expect approximately $1.5 billion in expected annual synergies to occur after year three of the deal, with additional synergies occurring from integrated solutions in future years. Synergies will come from the cost side, due to elimination of overlapping costs due to economies of scale and also from sales synergies.

5) The deal will go to Monsanto shareholders, who will vote on it in the next few months. If all goes according to plan, the deal will close at the end of 2017.

6) Regulators in the U.S., European Union, and other countries will be evaluating the transaction in the next several months. Bayer and Monsanto officials say they are confident the deal will past antitrust scrutiny. "The overlaps are minimal, when you look at it from that perspective," says Monsanto's Grant. Monsanto's strengths include seeds and traits, while Bayer has a wide chemistry portfolio. Both companies have ongoing biological products and research programs. Monsanto's 2013 acquisition of The Climate Corporation brings data science and digital ag to the table. "So when you sketch it out, the overlaps are really very small," says Grant.

7) A platform including chemical-biological-data science-seeds-traits will be used to develop agricultural products in a parallel rather than a sequential approach, say company officials. For example, scientists could develop a new herbicide-tolerant system based on optimal development of traits, chemistry, and high-quality germplasm.

Digital ag and precision agriculture will also play a role. "Satellite imagery could be used to detect disease patterns (in a field) in an early stage," says Liam Condon, Bayer CropScience CEO. This could enable the farmer to spray those areas early on, instead of an entire field too late, he says.


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