Shareholders of US biotechnology major Monsanto have approved its close to USD 66 billion merger deal with German pharma and chemical firm Bayer AG.
A decision in this regard was taken at a special meeting of shareholders held on Tuesday. Nearly 99 per cent of all votes cast by Monsanto shareholders were in favour of the merger, its Indian subsidiary Monsanto India said in a BSE filing. “Under the terms of the merger agreement, Monsanto shareowners will get USD 128 per share in cash at the closing of the merger,” it said.
The merger is subject to regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to be closed at the end of 2017. The merger deal was announced back in May, but it went through after Bayer made a third sweetened offer of USD 128 per share, marking the largest all-cash deal on record. The Monsanto shareholders also approved “the proposal to approve on an advisory (non-binding) basis, certain compensation that may be paid or become payable to the company’s named executive officers in connection with the merger”.
“We are pleased we received such a strong support from our shareowners. This is an important milestone as we work to combine out two complementary companies and deliver on our shared vision for the future of agriculture,” Monsanto Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant said.
Bayer AG CEO Wemer Baumann said, “The acquisition of Monsanto is driven by strong belief that this combination can help address the growing challenges facing farmers and the overall agriculture today and in future.”
Monsanto has a significant presence in India and has played a key role in increasing cotton output through its genetically-modified (GM) technologies.