Bayer, the global agricultural chemical company, has confirmed that its executives recently met with executives of Monsanto to privately discuss a negotiated acquisition of Monsanto Company, the makers of weed killer Roundup.

According to Bayer, the proposed combination would reinforce Bayer as a global innovation-driven life science company with leadership positions in its core segments, and would create a leading integrated agriculture business.

Meanwhile, Monsanto yesterday revealed that it has received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Bayer AG for a potential acquisition of Monsanto, subject to due diligence, regulatory approvals and other conditions.

The Board of Directors of Monsanto is reviewing the proposal, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors.

A statement from Monsanto said that the company will have no further comment until its Board of Directors has completed its review. There is no assurance that any transaction will be entered into or consummated, or on what terms, it said.

Morgan Stanley and Co. and Ducera Partners are acting as financial advisors, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as legal advisor, to Monsanto.

Monsanto failed on two attempts to acquire Syngenta last year, the Swiss-based agricultural seed and chemical company, which then decided to be sold off to Chinese company ChemChina.

Earlier this year, rival chemical companies Dow Chemical and DuPont announced that they were to combine in an all-stock merger of equals.

The new combined company is to be called DowDuPont.

The parties intend to subsequently pursue a separation of DowDuPont into three independent, publicly traded companies through tax‐free spin‐offs.