Bayer AG has secured about $63 billion in financing from five banks for its proposed acquisition of Monsanto Co., according to people familiar with the matter, a deal that would make it the world’s biggest supplier of farm chemicals and seeds. The German company has selected Bank of America Corp., Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to each provide about $12.5 billion in short-term loans, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The bridge loan includes an option to be increased should Bayer decide to bump its current offer of $122 a share, the people said. Monsanto has said the bid is too low. Bayer is later likely to issue a bond of about $20 billion to $30 billion to refinance part of the bridge loan, one of the people said. Handelsblatt reported earlier Thursday that Bayer had secured 60 billion euros ($67 billion) in loans, which could be increased to 75 billion euros if Bayer decides to raise its offer, citing people familiar with the matter.
A representative for Bayer declined to comment. Goldman Sachs, which advised Syngenta AG on its $43 billion sale to China National Chemical Corp. earlier this year, received permission from the Swiss company to provide financing on the Bayer deal, according to two people familiar with the matter. Goldman Sachs won’t provide M&A advice on the deal, the people said. Bank of America and Credit Suisse are Bayer’s main advisers, and Rothschild is also working on the deal. The German company interviewed lenders at its headquarters in Leverkusen last week and was planning to select about half a dozen banks, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News on May 27. Banks were offering more than $60 billion in loans, the people said at the time. Providing the terms of the funding may help allay Monsanto’s concerns about financing and pave the way for talks on Bayer’s bid to advance. Monsanto said on May 24 that while the original offer was inadequate, it’s open to further negotiations. Bayer remains confident about reaching an agreement on the deal, which would be the largest this year and biggest ever by a German company.