According to a person familiar with the matter, Bayer is close to winning US antitrust approval to buy Monsanto. This would lift the last major hurdle to completing a $ 66 billion deal that has been nearly two years in the making.
Leverkusen/Germany (Bloomberg) -- The companies and the Justice Department are finalizing 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 parties are wrapping up the last remaining details and approval could come as soon as this week, the person said. The government still hasn’t given a final sign-off on the merger, another person said.
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, based in Leverkusen, Germany, 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 USA, Russia and India remain.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the government has decided to approve the takeover after the companies agreed to sell more assets to resolve concerns the deal could harm competition. Representatives for the companies and the Justice Department declined to comment.
The company’s takeover of St. Louis-based Monsanto is part of a wave of consolidation that has swept seed and crop-chemical firms. The companies are seeking approval from US after two previous deals — the combination of Dow Chemical and Dupont and China National Chemical Corp.’s takeover of Syngenta — won antitrust clearance.