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Monsanto and Bayer Move Closer to a Deal

Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant and Fortune editor Alan Murray at Brainstorm E.Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant and Fortune editor Alan Murray at Brainstorm E.
Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant and Fortune editor Alan Murray at Brainstorm E.Photo by Stuart Isett, Fortune Brainstorm E

Monsanto (MON) is negotiating the terms of a confidentiality agreement with Bayer (BAYZF) that would allow extensive due diligence, after Bayer raised its offer to more than $64 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The source asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Bayer and Monsanto declined to comment.

While there was no certainty the latest talks between the two companies would result in a confidentiality pact, let alone in any deal, the move indicates that Bayer’s latest offer may at least help the negotiations make progress.

(For more on Monsanto, read Fortune feature Can Monsanto Save the Planet?)

Bayer said last week it had sweetened its acquisition offer for Monsanto to $125 per share in cash from $122 per share and offered it a $1.5 billion reverse antitrust breakup fee. Monsanto would still require Bayer to raise its offer further in order to agree to a sale, the source said.