Bayer close to gaining US antitrust approval to buy Monsanto

German chemical group and US seed giant finalising deal with US justice department

Bayer has won the green light from almost two-thirds of the jurisdictions that need to sign off on its takeover of Monsanto. Photograph: Shannon VanRaes/Reuters

Bayer has won the green light from almost two-thirds of the jurisdictions that need to sign off on its takeover of Monsanto. Photograph: Shannon VanRaes/Reuters

 

Bayer is close to winning US antitrust approval to buy Monsanto, according to a person familiar with the matter, a move that would lift the last major hurdle to completing a $66 billion (€53.4 billion) deal that has been nearly two years in the making.

The companies and the US justice department are finalising an agreement intended to resolve harm to competition from the tie-up of the German chemical company and the US seed giant, said the person, who declined to be named because the talks are confidential.

The settlement is coming together after justice department antitrust officials, led by assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim, had raised concerns about Bayer’s plan to sell assets to BASF SE and wanted to see additional divestitures.

Bayer has won the green light from almost two-thirds of the jurisdictions that need to sign off on the biggest transaction in the seeds and crop-chemicals industry. The US, Russia and India remain.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the US government had decided to approve the takeover after the companies agreed to sell more assets to resolve concerns the deal could harm competition. – Bloomberg