Bayer-Monsanto Deal Said to Clear U.S. Justice Hurdles

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Monsanto Bayer

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department will allow Bayer AG to acquire Monsanto for more than $60 billion once the companies sell off some assets, the Wall Street Journal reports. The deal will make it the world’s biggest supplier of pesticides and seeds for farmers.

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant recently met in Washington with Justice officials to help secure approval of the deal, which was first announced in September 2016, sources told the Journal.

The European Union last month conditionally approved the deal after Bayer agreed to sell off more than $7 billion worth of assets to rival BASF. These include its soybean and cottonseed businesses and Bayer’s glufosinate weedkiller that competes with Monsanto’s Roundup.

The companies said they expect a second quarter 2018 closing.

“As we’ve said from the beginning, this opportunity is about combining highly complementary businesses and bringing new innovative solutions to our customers,” Bayer said in a statement, reported the Journal. “We remain confident in our ability to obtain all necessary regulatory approvals and look forward to continuing to work diligently with regulators to support that process. We anticipate closing in second quarter 2018.”

In a company earnings statement last week, Monsanto said it “continues to be confident in the companies’ collective ability to secure the required approvals within the second calendar quarter of 2018 and in the time contemplated by the agreement.”

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