EU approves of the Bayer-Monsanto merger

Bayer cleared one big hurdle for its USD 66 billion takeover of Monsanto, winning European Union approval for the deal after agreeing to bolster BASF by selling it seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture technology, Bloomberg reports.

Prior it was reported that Bayer had entered exclusive talks with BASF on the sale of its Nunhems vegetable seeds unit to address antitrust regulators’ concerns over its planned merger with Monsanto.

Bayer and BASF "need to provide further evidence" of BASF’s ability and incentives to build the business into an important competitor in order for BASF to get approval to buy the more than 6 billion-euro (USD 7.4 billion) package, the EU said. The EU didn’t specify a buyer for Bayer’s vegetable seeds unit. Bayer has suggested BASF should take it over.

European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager announced the decision:

Note: the merger was announced in September 2016. The absence of a decision by the EU authorities was one of the most serious obstacles to its completion. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce approved the acquisition of Monsanto on March 13, 2018, also with a number of conditions.

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