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U.S. Justice Department to Approve Bayer/Monsanto Deal

U.S. Justice Department to Approve Bayer/Monsanto Deal

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the U.S. Department of Justice has decided to allow Bayer AG’s acquisition of Monsanto Co., valued at more than $60 billion.

An agreement in principle was reached after the companies pledged to sell off additional assets to secure antitrust approval. According to sources familiar with the matter, Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant recently met with Justice officials in Washington to help secure an agreement.

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Last month, the European Union last month conditionally approved the deal after Bayer agreed to sell off more than $7 billion worth of assets to BASF. The sales include Bayer’s soybean and cottonseed businesses, as well as Bayer’s glufosinate herbicide Liberty, which competes against Monsanto’s Roundup.

As part of the U.S. agreement, Bayer will divest additional seed and seed-treatment assets and will make concessions related to its digital agriculture business, which provides data-driven farming advice and services. Sources note that BASF will also acquire those assets.

“We remain confident in our ability to obtain all necessary regulatory approvals and look forward to continuing to work diligently with regulators to support that process,” said Bayer in a company statement. “We anticipate closing in second quarter 2018.”

More details are available in the article, shared by AgriMarketing.