Wed, Sep. 21, 2:54 PM
- German lawmakers lashed out in skepticism today at Bayer's (OTCPK:BAYRY -0.9%) planned takeover of Monsanto (MON +1.1%) in a meeting of parliament that highlighted the backlash Bayer faces in its home market against buying a company that many Germans see as a champion of genetically modified crops.
- Eight of the 12 lawmakers who spoke, including three members from within Chancellor Merkel’s coalition, criticized the deal; the lawmakers have no legislative authority to stop the deal, but some are calling on regulators to do so.
- The deal also drew scrutiny at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, where Sen. Grassley said the deal was part of a "tsunami of consolidation" that could reduce choice and raise the price of chemicals and seed for farmers, which ultimately would affect choice and costs for consumers.
- Company execs - including some from DuPont (DD +0.4%), Dow Chemical (DOW -0.1%) and Syngenta (SYT +0.2%) - sought to allay concerns and reassure lawmakers that they would keep licensing new types of seeds to smaller companies.
Wed, Sep. 21, 1:04 PM
- As previously reported, Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) aims to jettison its dermatology business in order to help fund its Monsanto buy. Although discussions are in the early phase, there appears to be plenty of interested parties. In addition to skincare-focused players like Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Almirall (OTC:LBTSF) and Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY)(OTCPK:NSRGF), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NASDAQ:TEVA), Perrigo (NASDAQ:PRGO) and Sun Pharma (OTC:SMPQY) are also reportedly in the mix.
- On the institutional investor side, KKR (NYSE:KKR), Nordic Capital, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) and Cinven may also be eyeing the unit which, analysts say, could fetch $1.1B.
- Previously: Bloomberg: Bayer eyes sale of $1.1B dermatology business (Sept. 8)
Wed, Sep. 21, 7:05 AM
- Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) and Evotec (OTC:EVOTF)(OTCPK:EVTCY) ink a five-year multi-target research partnership to develop clinical candidates for the treatment of kidney diseases. Both firms will contribute novel drug targets and technology platforms to jointly develop the potential products.
- Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will have exclusive access to selected candidates in addition to Evotec's CureNephron target pipeline. Bayer will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization. Evotech will receive a minimum of €14M over the contract period, including an undisclosed license fee and research payments, milestones valued up to €300M and up to low double-digit tiered royalties on net sales.
- The companies are in the fourth year of a five-year collaboration begun in 2012 focused on endometriosis.
Tue, Sep. 20, 7:58 AM
- Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) is considering dropping the name of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) in its $66B purchase to avoid sullying its reputation, according to a Bloomberg report.
- While MON is known for making the herbicide Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War and tangling with environmental groups over genetically modified crops, Bayer brought Aspirin to market in 1899 and this year topped a ranking of the world’s most reputable pharmaceutical brands from the Reputation Institute marketing firm.
- Bayer CEO Werner Baumann says there is an opportunity for the companies to jointly “get beyond this image and reputation thing” by building on the trust Bayer enjoys in Europe.
- Bayer should have plenty of time to make a decision: Antitrust reviews in ~30 jurisdictions worldwide mean that the deal is not likely to be completed before late 2017.
Tue, Sep. 20, 7:20 AM
- The Bayer Group (OTCPK:BAYRY) aims to achieve further growth in the coming years and is seeking higher sales and earnings in all businesses.
- Management Board Chairman Werner Baumann said, "We anticipate especially significant sales and margin growth at Pharmaceuticals. This growth is expected to be driven particularly by the positive development of our recently launched products, for which we now see combined peak sales potential of more than €10B.” At Crop Science, Bayer expects a substantial increase in the margin after closing of the planned acquisition of Monsanto.
- In Pharmaceuticals business, Bayer aspires to achieve average annual sales growth of ~6% by the end of 2018.Sales of this division totaled €15.3B in 2015 including the Radiology business. Bayer aims to increase the EBITDA margin before special items of Pharmaceuticals to between 32% and 34% in 2018 (2015: 30.1%). Six product candidates are expected to generate at least €6B in peak sales.
- In Consumer Health business, Bayer aims to grow average annual sales by between 4% and 5% by the end of 2018.
- In Crop Science business, Bayer expects above-market average annual sales growth in the coming years. Pro forma sales of the combined business of the Crop Science Division and Monsanto amounted to €23.1B in the calendar year 2015.
- In the Animal Health Business, Bayer aspires to grow sales of that business by between 4% and 5% yearly on average through the end of 2018.
Mon, Sep. 19, 9:46 AM
- The FDA approves Bayer's (OTCPK:BAYRY) new low-dose levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system, branded as Kyleena, which provides up to five years effective protection against pregnancy. It can be removed at any time and enables a woman to quickly return to her natural level of fertility.
- Market launch will commence next month.
- Kyleena is a small, soft and flexible plastic T-shaped device that contains the synthetic hormone levonorgestrel. Once placed in the uterus, it continuously releases low doses of the hormone directly into the uterus for up to five years.
Mon, Sep. 19, 7:21 AM
- Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) plans to meet with banks this week as it works on a $57B bridge loan backing its proposed takeover of Monsanto (NYSE:MON), Bloomberg reports.
- BofA, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and J.P. Morgan agreed to provide bridge financing, and talks tomorrow will form part of the syndication of the loan agreed between lenders and the company, according to the report.
- Bayer last week agreed to buy MON for $66B and plans to fund the deal with a combination of debt, the issuance of $19B of mandatory convertible bonds and a rights offer.
Thu, Sep. 15, 2:18 PM
- Monsanto (MON -1.9%) moves lower, slipping nearly 20% below Bayer's (OTCPK:BAYRY -1.8%) $128/share offer price, amid doubts about the limited business overlap, potentially lowballed terms and significant closure risk.
- CLSA downgrades MON Underperform with a $110 price target, citing disappointing deal terms and a far higher regulatory risk than both management teams suggest; the firm also notes that the offer price is less than 10% higher than where the stock traded two years ago, and says the $2B breakup free is a "fraction" of what MON offered in its pursuit of Syngenta.
- Piper Jaffray keeps its Overweight rating on MON while lifting its price target to the $128 offer price, which it says was lower than expected; the firm pins its approval conviction on the "minimal crossover" between the two companies, while admitting that MON's remarks about Bayer as the best option for shareholders raises doubt about the company's growth expectations.
- BMO keeps his Outperform rating and lifts its target to $128, echoing that product overlaps are small and that the deal will be closely scrutinized across the globe given the practical realities of farmer wallet impact, the companies involved, and ongoing reviews of the Dow-DuPont and ChemChina-Syngenta tie-ups, adding that MON could trade sideways for weeks or even months.
Wed, Sep. 14, 12:19 PM
- Monsanto (MON +1.3%) is higher after Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY +1.2%) finally clinched its $128/share takeover, but the stock still trades at ~$107 amid some doubt that the deal actually will happen.
- Bernstein analysts anticipate significant anti-trust and political hurdles, and assign just a 50% probability of that the deal will be completed, citing conglomerate antitrust concerns as a large integrated crop protection and seeds company, U.S. national security concerns from a CFIUS review; and other political concerns, such as Sen. Grassley's hearing later this month on agriculture consolidation.
- The proposed merger likely will face an intense and lengthy regulatory process in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the EU and elsewhere; MON CEO Hugh Grant said in today's conference call that the companies will need to file in ~30 jurisdictions for the merger.
- Bayer’s cottonseed, canola seed and glufosinate herbicide businesses, with sales totaling ~$1B, may need to be divested, according to a Bloomberg analysis.
Wed, Sep. 14, 7:28 AM
- It's official: Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) agrees to acquire Monsanto (NYSE:MON) for $128/share in cash, in a deal that values MON at ~$66B.
- The offer represents a 44% premium to MON's closing share price on May 9, the day before Bayer's first written takeover proposal.
- Bayer expects annual synergies of ~$1.5B after year three; plus additional synergies from integrated solutions in future years.
- Bayer has committed to a $2B reverse antitrust break fee, reaffirming its confidence that it will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals.
Wed, Sep. 14, 6:50 AM
- Monsanto (NYSE:MON) has finally agreed to a takeover offer from Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY), sources say, valuing it at $128 per share or a total of more than $66B.
- The deal would be the largest all-cash transaction on record and put a quarter of the combined world market for seeds and pesticides under one roof.
- Bayer has also settled on a $2B break-up fee for the deal, which is expected to close by the end of 2017.
- MON +1.7% premarket
Tue, Sep. 13, 6:47 PM
- Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) is expected to announce the acquisition of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) tomorrow for more than $66B, Reuters reports.
- The breakthrough after more than four months of talks reportedly comes after Bayer further improved on its sweetened offer of $127.50/share in cash it disclosed last week, but the deal will still value MON at less than $130/share.
- After MON's board approves the deal today, Bayer's board will meet tomorrow to also authorize the deal, with the goal of an announcement before the stock market opens in New York, according to the report.
Tue, Sep. 13, 11:14 AM
- Monsanto's (MON -1%) board will meet today to decide whether to approve the company's sale to Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY -1%) for more than $65B following four months of negotiations, Reuters reports.
- The deal is expected to value MON at a little more than the sweetened $127.50/share offer that Bayer disclosed last week, according to the report.
- Bayer's supervisory board reportedly will review the deal tomorrow, and the deal still could hit a snag with the board of either company.
Fri, Sep. 9, 9:47 AM
- Bayer, Monsanto deal likely to be announced late next week; price for Monsanto seen to be in high $120s, sources say.
- Still negotiating on regulatory issues.
- Source: CNBCNOW
Thu, Sep. 8, 2:11 PM
- Monsanto (MON +1.3%) moves higher following a Bloomberg report that Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) is exploring the sale of its dermatology business, as the German company seeks to sell peripheral businesses to boost its pursuit of MON.
- The business could attract interest from existing makers of skincare products such as Nestle’s (OTCPK:NSRGY, OTCPK:NSRGF) Galderma, Allergan (NYSE:AGN) and Almirall (OTC:LBTSF) of Spain, as well as P-E firms, according to the report.
- Analysts say a sale of the unit could fetch more than €1B ($1.1B).
Tue, Sep. 6, 6:30 PM
- Based on an interim analysis of half the events for the primary endpoint in a Phase 3 clinical trial assessing Exelixis' (NASDAQ:EXEL) cabozantinib for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the independent Data Monitoring Committee recommends that the study continue without modification. A second interim analysis will occur after 75% of the events have been observed.
- The double-blind, placebo-controlled study, CELESTIAL, randomized 760 patients with advanced HCC who have been previously treated with sorafenib [Bayer's (OTCPK:BAYRY) NEXAVAR] to receive either 60 mg/day of cabozantinib or placebo. The primary endpoint is overall survival (OS) assessed up to Month 38. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, the estimated final data collection date for the primary endpoint is October.
- Cabozantinib inhibits enzymes called tyrosine kinases, which play roles in the proliferation and survival of cancer cells.
- Exelixis owns commercialization rights in the U.S. and Canada while Ipsen has the rights elsewhere except Japan. It is approved in the U.S. for the treatment of medullary thyroid cancer under the brand name COMETRIQ and for the treatment of kidney cancer under the brand name CABOMETYX.
- Previously: European Ad Comm backs Exelixis and Ipsen's Cabometyx for kidney cancer (July 22)