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The German pharmaceutical company Bayer has been in the process of buying the company for more than two years, and the $66 billion deal is finally closing this week. On Monday, Bayer bayry announced in a statement that it had received all the necessary regulatory approvals to buy Monsanto, and that they would retire the 117-year-old name of “almost surely the most vilified company on the planet.” “Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio,” the statement said.
Acquirers don’t typically change the names of the companies they’re buying when it’s as well-recognized to its customers as Monsanto is, but in this case, it may be the best option. Here’s why.
Agent Orange, DDT, GMOs
As recognizable as the name “Monsanto” is to its customers, it’s almost better known among its detractors. Monsanto was established in 1901 as a chemical business, and has found itself at the center of some of the biggest controversies of the 20th and 21st centuries. The chemical Agent Orange, which was weaponized and demonized during the Vietnam era, was produced under the name Monsanto. The company was also among those that produced DDT, a now-banned pesticide. In recent years, the name has become virtually synonymous with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the target of much of the protest against them.