Bayer secures loan facility to fund Monsanto bid

Reuters — German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer, which has made a US$62 billion bid for U.S. seeds company Monsanto, has secured a 60 billion-euro (C$87.75 billion, or US$66.9 billion) loan facility, business journal Handelsblatt reported Thursday.

The loan facility can be expanded up to 75 billion euros (C$109.68 billion, or US$83.62 billion), the German daily paper reported.

Bayer secured the bridge loan on Wednesday from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

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Bayer made an unsolicited takeover offer for Monsanto in May, aiming to create the world’s biggest agricultural supplier.

Monsanto turned down the offer as “incomplete and financially inadequate” but said it was open to further talks.

The loan facility, which have a maturity of up to a year, will have around 0.5 per cent interest rate for the first half.

“As a matter of principle, we do not comment on any market rumours,” Bayer spokesman Michael Preuss said Thursday.

The banks were not immediately available for comments.

Reporting for Reuters by Arathy S Nair in Bangalore.

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