Bayer AG is acquiring a majority stake in St. Louis-based agriculture startup CoverCress Inc., a move that comes as CoverCress this year plans for a full commercial launch of its newly created cash crop.

Bayer, the Germany-based pharmaceutical and agriculture giant, said Monday it has entered into a shareholders’ agreement to increase its existing investment in CoverCress to acquire a 65% ownership stake in the St. Louis startup. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bayer, which bought St. Louis-based agtech company Monsanto in 2018, has its Crop Science Division headquartered in Creve Coeur.

The remaining 35% ownership position in CoverCress will be held by two existing investors: Chesterfield-based agribusiness Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG) and Chevron U.S.A. Inc., a subsidiary of San Ramon, California-based energy giant Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX).

Bayer’s purchase of a majority stake in CoverCress marks a major milestone for the St. Louis agtech industry, making it the sector’s second significant startup exit within the past year, following food technology firm Benson Hill’s deal in September 2021 to become a publicly traded company. It also marks a win for local investors who have backed CoverCress since its founding. Local investors who have funded CoverCress include BioGenerator, St. Louis Arch Angels, Hermann Cos., Prolog Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Missouri Technology Corp., Yield Lab and St. Louis County Port Authority. READ MORE