German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer on Monday said it had offered $62 billion for US agriculture group Monsanto in a move which would create the world's biggest supplier of seeds, pesticides and genetically modified crops.
"Bayer has made an all-cash offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Monsanto company for $122 per share or an aggregate value of $62 billion" (55 billion euros), the German firm said in a statement.
The German chemicals and drugs group said it expected synergies from the merger which would result in annual earnings contributions of around $1.5 billion after three years.
The announcement comes just days after Monsanto said it had received an unsolicited bid from Bayer following weeks of speculation about a possible tie-up.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the two companies would together account for around 28 percent of global sales of pesticides and herbicides.
Low commodity prices -- which have caused farmers to cut orders for supplies -- have piled the pressure on agricultural suppliers like Monsanto, which is based in Saint Louis, Missouri.
In March, the US firm slashed its earnings forecast for 2016.
Last year, following an unsuccessful bid for Syngenta, Monsanto embarked on a huge restructuring programme, saying it would axe 3,600 jobs -- or 16 percent of its workforce -- by 2018, closing sites and writing down assets.
A major manufacturer of agricultural seeds and herbicides, Monsanto employs about 20,000 workers and describes itself as one of the world's leading biotechnology companies.
Bayer, which employs around 117,000 workers, turned in record profits and sales in 2015, notching up a net profit of 4.1 billion euros on sales of 46.3 billion euros.
Updated Date: May 23, 2016 11:56 AM