Why is Bayer Acquiring Monsanto?

Shaun Haney is in Germany this week as a guest of Bayer, celebrating 20 years of the company’s Invigor brand. 

During the Bayer InVigor 20th anniversary party we heard an address by Liam Condon, Bayer Crop Science CEO. He was fresh off a flight from Chicago where he was working on the acquisition of Monsanto.

He thanked all of the farmers for their business and then dug in on the Monsanto acquisition. Here are my notes on his statements:

  • It’s getting more expensive to bring products to the market. We need a broader approach with more options for the farmer. 
  • The reality is that canola is the single biggest example for Bayer of the integrated model. We believe with a partner (seed company), we can replicate this model around the world.
  • The key thing is that we are committed to bring innovation quicker to the market to benefit farmers.
  • We can look forward that there is much more coming from Bayer.  Canada has been our biggest success as a company and the future will be even bigger.

Bayer clearly sees itself as a crop protection company that needs seed genetics to fully integrate its offer to the farmer. This strategy has worked in canola, but as Condon mentions they believe it can be replicated around the world.

This full integration strategy is similar to Syngenta’s which has come with mixed results especially in the U.S. Midwest corn belt. Can Bayer succeed with a corn, wheat, and soybean integrated strategy? Time will tell but Liam Condon the CEO believes very confidently there are 66 billion reasons that it will.

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