New York (AFP) - US agrochemical giant Monsanto said Tuesday that an increased takeover bid from Germany's Bayer was still "insufficient," but that it remains open to talks to seal the transaction.
Monsanto called Bayer's bid last week of $125 per share, up from the prior $122 per share, "financially inadequate" to ensure a deal. But Monsanto left the door open to talks, adding that there are no assurance a deal will be reached.
Bayer, inventor of the painkiller aspirin, has argued a takeover of the US company would create a new world leader in seeds, pesticides and genetically modified (GM) crops.
The proposed deal comes in the wake of proposed mergers between US companies DuPont and Dow Chemical, and another between Swiss company Syngenta and ChemChina, as low crop prices depress demand for many agricultural products.
But the prospects of a Bayer-Monsanto merger could possibly trigger antitrust concerns.
The original Bayer bid of $62 billion was rebuffed by Monsanto in May. The updated bid did not give a valuation for the whole deal, due to possible changes in Monsanto's debt obligations.
Shares of Monsanto fell 1.4 percent to $105.00 in pre-market trade.