Bayer's potential acquisition of Monsanto Co. would create a giant seed and farm chemical company with a strong footprint in the U.S., Europe and Asia, combining two businesses with complementary geographical focus.
But Bayer might have to shed part of its business because of antitrust concerns. And the price tag on any deal would be huge: Monsanto's market value is around $42 billion.
Germany-based Bayer said Thursday in a short statement that its executives had met recently with their Monsanto counterparts “to privately discuss a negotiated acquisition” of the specialist in genetically modified crop seeds.
The news of a potentially costly deal sent Bayer...