Bayer takeover of St. Louis based Monsanto approved

Bayer and Monsanto must still convince US regulators who are pushing for the companies to divest more assets to resolve antitrust concerns

A merger between German pharmaceutical giant Bayer and USA agrochemical company Monsanto can go ahead, the European Commission said on Wednesday, but only under strict conditions.

According to Friends of the Earth Europe, Bayer-Monsanto merger was opposed by more than a million people and opinion polls indicated that 54 percent of EU citizens thought it was "very" or "fairly important" that the European Commission blocked it.

German chemical and pharma major Bayer today said it has received "conditional" approval from the European Commission for its proposed United States dollars 66 billion acquisition of US-based biotech major Monsanto. "Vestager said many of these concerns went beyond competition policy and the Bayer/Monsanto merger".

She said the divestitures remove all overlaps in seeds and pesticide markets and streamlines R&D.

Brussels launched an in-depth investigation in August into the $66 billion (56-billion-euro) deal, which would create the world's largest integrated pesticides and seeds company.

"We have made sure that the number of global players actively competing in these markets stays the same", said Vestager.

More news: John Francis Cogan Sells 5833 Shares of Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) Stock

Bayer has agreed to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for 5.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion) to BASF and to license global digital farming data.

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said of the approval: "Receipt of the European Commission's approval is a major success and a significant milestone".

Bayer and BASF "need to provide further evidence" of BASF's ability and incentives to build the assets into an important competitor in order for BASF to get approval to buy the package, the European Union says.

Among others, Bayer has consequently agreed to sell nearly all of its global seeds businesses, including related research, to Ludwigshafen-based BASF.

In late 2017, Bayer stated that it was awaiting the close of the deal to buy the U.S. biotechnological company Monsanto in early 2018, and it continues to work closely with the authorities on all the permissions.

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