German drug and chemicals company Bayer AG says it has made a $62 billion offer to buy U.S.-based crops and seeds specialist Monsanto Company.

Bayer said Monday that the all-cash offer values Monsanto shares at $122 each. It said in a statement that the acquisition "would be a compelling opportunity to create a global agriculture leader, while reinforcing Bayer as a life science company with a deepened position in a long-term growth industry."

Bayer had said on Thursday that its executives met recently with their Monsanto counterparts "to privately discuss a negotiated acquisition" of the specialist in genetically modified crop seeds.

Monsanto is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.