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European Commission Conditionally Approves Bayer’s Proposed Monsanto Acquisition

Closing is now expected in the second quarter of 2018.

The European Commission (EC) has conditionally approved Bayer’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto. This moves closing of the deal into the second quarter of 2018. 

The release said Bayer has now received approvals for the transaction from more than half of the some 30 regulatory authorities, including those in Brazil and China.

Approval Conditions

The EC’s conditions for approval include the divestment of certain Bayer businesses, including the following:

  • Global field crop seeds business such as canola, cotton, and soybean (with minor exceptions restricted to the Asia region) 
  • R&D platform for hybrid wheat
  • Global vegetable seeds business 
  • Global glufosinate ammonium business, as well as certain glyphosate-based herbicides in Europe, predominantly for industrial use  

In addition, Monsanto’s global business with the nematicide NemaStrike must be divested. The conditions also stipulate the transfer of three Bayer research projects in the area of nonselective herbicides and the granting of a license to Bayer’s digital farming portfolio. BASF is the intended purchaser of these assets.

Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto was initially to have occurred in late 2017. This was subsequently moved back into January 2018 and is now being moved back into the second quarter of 2018. Previous divestments by Bayer have had to be made, such as its sale of Liberty Link assets to BASF. 

There have also been objections made by groups fearing the deal will lessen buying competition for farmers.

The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals. Bayer and Monsanto are working closely with the authorities (including the U.S. Department of Justice) with the goal of closing the transaction in the second quarter of 2018, according to the release.

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