Monsanto takeover to be completed by middle of year, Bayer says

Deadline for decision from European merger regulators on deal worth $66 billion nearing

Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann at press conference in Leverkusen on Wednesday following the announcement of the German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant’s annual results. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann at press conference in Leverkusen on Wednesday following the announcement of the German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant’s annual results. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

Bayer said it expects to close the $66 billion acquisition of US rival Monsanto by the middle of this year, needing more time to complete its transformation into the world’s biggest producer of seeds.

The deal will probably be completed in the second quarter, the company said Wednesday in a statement. The April 5th deadline for a decision from European merger regulators is nearing. Farming technology and divestment of a portfolio of vegetable seeds have emerged as key final details in the talks.

The deal with Monsanto has eclipsed other strategic moves at Bayer and is poised to transform one of the world’s oldest drugmakers – the inventor of aspirin – into more of a force in the agriculture business than it is in pharmaceuticals.

Bayer previously said it expected to conclude the Monsanto purchase early this year.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation will probably be in line with the level of last year, while sales will reach about €35 billion, Bayer said. – Bloomberg