WASHINGTON, May 19, 2016 - Monsanto and Bayer have confirmed news reports that they are discussing a merger. In a statement issued Wednesday, Monsanto said its board of directors is reviewing “an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Bayer AG for a potential acquisition” of the company, but would not comment further until after the board has completed that review.

Bayer, which is headquartered in Germany, followed today with its own statement, saying that executives from the two companies recently met privately to discuss a “negotiated acquisition of Monsanto Company” and that “the proposed combination … would create a leading integrated agriculture business.”

St. Louis-based Monsanto said “there is no assurance that any transaction will be entered into or consummated, or on what terms.”

However, the discussions between the two companies – which could create the world’s biggest supplier of farm chemicals -- are certain to be watched closely in farm country, where many are already concerned about two other possible mergers.

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Dow Chemical and DuPont have proposed a merger, and Syngenta, which spurned offers from Monsanto last year, has agreed to be acquired by the China National Chemical Co. (ChemChina). Both the Dow-DuPont and Syngenta-ChemChina deals have yet to be approved by regulators.

Earlier this week, USDA agreed to join the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in reviewing the ChemChina-Syngenta deal.

A Bayer-Monsanto merger would create a company with combined annual revenues of about $67 billion. Monsanto’s sales in fiscal 2015 (ending Aug. 31) were $15 billion. Bayer’s were about $51.9 billion.