Bayer to win EU approval for $62.5 billion Monsanto deal
German drug and crop chemicals maker Bayer is set to win conditional European Union antitrust approval for its $62.5 billion bid for world No. 1 seed company Monsanto.
The takeover, one of a trio of major deals in the agribusiness sector in recent years, would create a company with a share of more than a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticides market.
Shifting weather patterns, competition in grain exports and a souring global farm economy have spurred consolidation among the major players, triggering protests from environmental and farming groups worried about their market power.
Bayer has already pledged to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for €5.9 billion ($7.2 billion) to BASF to address EU regulatory concerns.
The company will also give BASF a license to its digital farming data, and it appears BASF will have exclusive access as Bayer has not offered a legal obligation to license to other rivals, a person with knowledge of the matter has told Reuters.
This week Bayer said additional antitrust concessions would include the sale of its vegetable seeds business, confirming a Reuters report.
The European Commission, which is expected to issue a decision on the deal ahead of its April 5 deadline, declined to comment.
Bayer also declined to comment on the sources’ comments, saying it continued a constructive dialogue with the EU competition watchdog. It added the regulatory process in Europe was further advanced than in the United States where the deal also requires clearance.