April 16, 2018 / 6:35 PM / 5 months ago

Singapore's Temasek hikes Bayer stake in $3.7 billion share sale

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German drugmaker Bayer (BAYGn.DE) is raising 3 billion euros (2.6 billion pounds) towards its planned $62.5 billion takeover of seed maker Monsanto MON.N by selling a 3.6 percent stake to Singapore’s state investment company Temasek.

FILE PHOTO: A woman passes a logo of state investor Temasek Holdings at their office in Singapore July 8, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

Bayer said it had struck a deal with Temasek [TEM.UL] under which it would issue shares with an entitlement to dividends as of January 1, 2017 at an at-market price.

Together with its existing holding in Bayer, Temasek would own about 4 percent in Bayer after the transaction.

“Temasek takes equity positions in leading companies globally and is a long-term investor,” Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in a statement.

The corporate logo of Bayer is seen at the headquarters building in Caracas, Venezuela March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

“This investment affirms our business strategy including the proposed acquisition of Monsanto, as well as Bayer’s strong growth prospects.”

Bayer added that the proceeds from the placement would be taken into account when setting the size of the previously announced rights issue to fund the Monsanto takeover.

Bernstein analysts earlier this months put the expected rights issue at 7-9 billion euros in volume, while brokerage Baader Helvea estimated it to be worth 4-6.5 billion euros, meaning Temasek is footing a sizable part of the bill.

A company spokesman said Bayer had not yet decided when to carry out the rights issue.

It has previously said it would go ahead with the transaction once it has sufficient certainty on the antitrust clearance.

Bayer last week unveiled plans to sell its digital farming business to BASF (BASFn.DE) in what a source familiar with the matter said was part of an outline deal with the U.S. Justice Department (DoJ) to secure antitrust approval.

It already has the conditional go-ahead from European regulators.

Bayer did not give a per-share price but at 31 million new shares created for Temasek, that would amount to 96.77 euros each. Bayer shares closed 0.7 percent lower at 97.98 euros on Monday ahead of the announcement.

The head of Temasek Europe told a German paper in August that the sovereign wealth fund wanted to make acquisitions in Germany, citing agriculture, pharma and biotech as target industries, among other sectors.

The fund is being advised by Michael Diekmann, former CEO of insurer Allianz (ALVG.DE), and Franz Fehrenbach, supervisory board chairman at Bosch [ROBG.UL].

Temasek was not planning to take an overly proactive role, instead aiming for minority stakes and leaving business to management, Lee was quoted as saying at the time.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Alexander Smith

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