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Will the Bayer – Monsanto marriage happen?

Bayer and its U.S. peer Monsanto (MON) achieved a significant milestone after the European Union antitrust regulators approved Bayer’s $63.5 billion proposal to acquire Monsanto. Based on the conditions by EU, Bayer needs to sell certain assets to smaller players in the industry. The regulators suggested Bayer should sell its assets to rival BASF SE, another chemical company based in Germany.

The two agro-chemical giants – Monsanto and Bayer- together have decided to dump Monsanto’s nematode seed treatment assets along with certain businesses of Bayer- mainly the seed and herbicide businesses.

European Union approves Bayer Monsanto merger

Courtesy: Wikimedia CommonsBayer’s interest was mainly in Monsanto’s seeds and traits business. The planned takeover that was initially announced in 2016, met several delays earlier. The deal closing, which was expected at the end of 2017, was postponed to January 2018, and now the closing date is pushed to the second quarter of 2018.

The contentious mega-merger is expected to create one of the largest pesticides and seeds company that will drastically change the agriculture and chemical industry. The combined firm will have an expanded presence across U.S., Europe, and Asia.

The deal that is said to affect farmers on a large scale attracted a lot of criticism. Numerous environmental groups criticized the reunion of the two agrochemical giants stating it would cut competition for seeds and pesticides companies. They have even raised concerns over the power and advantage Bayer would have in digital farming data. To block the deal, millions of petitions were signed.

 The combined firm will have an expanded presence across U.S., Europe, and Asia

After an approval from EU, the companies now need to get a green signal from the U.S. regulators who insist the companies sell more assets to overcome antitrust issues. The deal is also being reviewed by the Russian regulators. If the merger is successful, it would be the biggest overseas takeover by a German company.

Bayer and Monsanto’s is one of three major mergers of agriculture, chemical, and seeds Company. The other two mergers that got completed in 2017 are DuPont/Dow Chemical and China National Chemical Corp/Syngenta AG.

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