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SullCrom, A&O and Wachtell advise on biggest M&A deal of the year to date as Bayer makes $62bn bid for Monsanto

Sullivan & Cromwell, Allen & Overy, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz all won roles, as healthcare and agriculture giant Bayer placed a bid to acquire agricultural company Monsanto for $62bn, in a deal which would create the world’s biggest agricultural supplier.

In the largest ever bid by a German company, Bayer believes the acquisition will reinforce the company as ‘a global innovation-driven life science company with leadership positions in its core segments’. It expects the acquisition will create profits of approximately $1.5bn across three years ‘plus additional integrated offer benefits in future years’.

Allen & Overy (A&O) is advising Bayer on the financing of the transaction, while Sullivan & Cromwell is advising on M&A matters. Sullivan & Cromwell’s team was led by New York-based corporate partner Matthew Hurd, with Los Angeles based coporate partner Eric Krautheimer and antitrust partners Juan Rodriguez based in London and Steven Holley based in New York also working on the bid.

A&O’s team is led by Frankfurt-based banking and finance partner Neil Weiand, while banking and finance partner Thomas Neubaum and capital markets partner Oliver Seiler are also advising from Frankfurt. Banking and finance partners Nicholas Clark and George Link and corporate partner Stephen Mathews are advising in London while corporate partner Hans Diekmann and tax partner Marcus Helios are acting from Düsseldorf.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz will advise Monsanto through the potential acquisition. The company confirmed it had received the ‘unsolicited’ bid from Bayers, but ‘there is no assurance that any transaction will be entered into or consummated, or on what terms’.

The bid is subject to due diligence, regulatory approvals and other conditions.

The deal is the second largest M&A transaction to date this year, beating out China National Chemical Corp’s $43bn bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta in February. Advisers on that deal included Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Davis Polk & Wardwell, and Swiss firm Bär & Karrer.