Monsanto's reported pivot toward a possible deal with BASF could be just a ploy to get even more money out of Bayer. But BASF stands to benefit by playing along and seeing if it can get something for itself in the process.
The world's largest seed company is said to have revived talks with BASF over a possible transaction whereby Monsanto would issue stock to the German company in exchange for its agrochemicals business. Such a deal would allow Monsanto to achieve its long-sought goal of adding fungicides and herbicides to its seed portfolio -- an appealing alternative if the U.S. company can't negotiate a high enough price out of its would-be acquirer Bayer. (Indeed, Bayer on Thursday said it raised its offer to $125 a share, still below the $140 that some analysts have cited as an appropriate price.)