Monsanto wants higher price from Bayer in takeover: report

Frankfurt (AFP) - US agrochemicals giant Monsanto is hoping Bayer will increase its takeover offer, but the higher price could prove a bitter pill to swallow for the German group's shareholders, the business daily Handelsblatt reported on Thursday.

"The Americans are suggesting an increase in the offer price of between $10-15 (9.0-13.5 euros) per share from $122 at the moment," the newspaper said, quoting unnamed sources.

That would mean that the German chemicals and pharmaceuticals maker, inventor of the painkiller Aspirin, would have to put an additional $5.0-7.0 billion on the table, compared with the current offer price of $62 billion, Handelsblatt said.

Merger talks between the two groups to create a new world leader in seeds, pesticides and genetically modified (GM) crops are currently gridlocked.

Monsanto is demanding a higher price, but Bayer is unwilling until it has been able to examine the US group's books. But Monsanto is not prepared to grant such access.

The US firm announced on Wednesday that it is in talks with other potential buyers, but did not name any names.

Observers believe another German group, BASF, could be one of them.

Another obstacle facing Bayer is the rise in the value of the dollar against the euro in the wake of the British vote to quit the European Union.

That could compel Bayer to increase the debt it would need to take out to finance the acquisition and put at risk its credit rating, Handelsblatt said.

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