Mar. 14, 2018
China's Commerce Ministry said Tuesday it has approved Bayer AG's plan to buy Monsanto Co. but the buyer will have to spin off some assets, among other conditions.
The ministry ordered Bayer to spin off some businesses globally, including vegetable seeds, corn, soybean, cotton, and herbicide, according to a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
Bayer has already pledged to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for 5.9 billion euros ($7.27 billion) to BASF to address EU regulatory concerns and has separately offered to sell its vegetable seeds business to BASF.
“These divestments are covered by our agreement and the ongoing negotiations with BASF as previously communicated,” Bayer said in a statement.
In addition, Bayer committed to grant “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access” to the merged entity’s digital agriculture offerings in China to Chinese developers of farm management software.
Bayer has secured the go-ahead from Brazilian regulators, while people familiar with the matter told Reuters two weeks ago that Bayer was in the frame to win conditional antitrust approval from the European Union for the $62.5 billion deal.
Bayer said at the time that the U.S. review was not as far advanced as EU’s, but it was confident it would make progress there over the next few weeks.
In Russia, however, Bayer has taken the regulator to court to “safeguard its rights” in the review procedure.