Bayer-Monsanto deal gains key approval from the U.S. Department of Justice

Bayer canola seed bags

Bayer has gained conditional approval for its acquisition of Monsanto from the U.S. Department of Justice, which was the largest outstanding regulatory authorization left for the the US$66 billion deal.

“Receipt of the DOJ’s approval brings us close to our goal of creating a leading company in agriculture,” said Bayer CEO Werner Baumann, in a statement on Tuesday morning.

According to Reuters, the list of conditions required by the U.S. antitrust authority “aligns closely” with divestitures required by the European Union.

In order to gain approval in the EU and other jurisdictions, Bayer has already agreed to sell a significant portion of its seed and crop protection business to BASF, including its global glufosinate-ammonium business and the related LibertyLink herbicide tolerance technology, as well as its North American and European canola and soybean seed businesses. In April, Bayer added its Bayer Digital Farming business and certain Bayer seed treatment products to the list of assets it will divest to BASF to gain regulatory approval.

The Canadian Competition Bureau has not yet published its decision. As of Friday, a spokesperson for the Canadian regulator said it was still under review.

Bayer says it expects to receive outstanding approvals “very shortly.”

According to the DOJ’s conditions, the integration of Monsanto into Bayer can take place as soon as the divestments to BASF have been completed. Bayer says this is expected to take place in approximately two months.

 

Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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