Bayer takeover of Monsanto would trigger huge paydays for executives
Monsanto chief Hugh Grant could land more than €63m if his firm - the world's largest seed company - is taken over by German chemicals giant Bayer AG.
The US firm said it was open to engaging in further negotiations with Bayer after turning down its €56bn bid as "incomplete and financially inadequate" last week.
That $122-per-share offer would allow CEO and chairman Grant to walk away with a total package of more than €110m after a takeover, including from the sale of shares and the exercise of options he already owned, a Reuters analysis of Monsanto filings shows.
But €66m of that represents gains that the 58-year-old Scot could make as a result of the Bayer courtship - largely thanks to increases in the value of his stock options.
The gains also reflect the rise in the value of his shareholdings and an accelerated payout of bonuses that would kick in if there is a takeover, as well as a €12m 'golden parachute' severance payment he would receive if he loses his job as a result.
There is no certainty that ongoing negotiations will result into a deal although Monsanto's board has signalled interest in reaching an accord with Bayer.
Grant, who is eligible for retirement, said that his company firmly endorsed "the substantial benefits an integrated strategy could provide to growers and broader society" after the bid was snubbed on Tuesday.
Even should a deal be struck, it is not certain that Grant would be ousted. But in most takeovers, the CEOs of the targets tend to exit after their companies are sold. The agrochemicals mega-deal between Dow Chemical and Dupont agreed in December - an unusual case because it was billed as a "merger of equals" of two companies of roughly equal size - will see both CEOs depart.