And soon there may be six. The announcement that Bayer is negotiating to purchase Aventis's agrochemical business could mean one less global chemical company. In our Mid-February issue (page 6), we named the “Global 7”: Aventis, Bayer, BASF, Syngenta, DuPont, Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences. Just three years ago, there were 10 global chemical companies.

The deal between Bayer and Aventis has some hurdles to jump, including antitrust concerns and liabilities over genetically modified corn. News reports indicated Bayer is willing to pay $3.4 billion for the Aventis agrochemical business.