FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German drugmaker Bayer on Thursday flagged it might reduce the size of its planned rights issue to fund the planned $66 billion takeover of Monsanto, citing proceeds from an antitrust-related asset sale to rival BASF
“We will also use the net proceeds from the announced divestiture to BASF to refinance the Monsanto acquisition,” Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in prepared remarks published ahead of a conference call for journalists.
“As part of the detailed planning ahead of us, we will examine whether and to what extent the equity component of the financing will change as a result,” he said.
He also reiterated that the planned capital increase would take place via a rights issue to avoid watering down stakes held by existing investors.
Bayer has agreed to sell seed and herbicide businesses for 5.9 billion euros ($7 billion) to BASF, which analysts have said was richly priced.
So far this year Bayer has also grossed about 4.7 billion euros from selling blocks of share in Covestro, the plastics business with which it is severing ties.
Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan