May. 2, 2018
Bayer AG’s bid to buy Creve Coeur-based seed and chemical company Monsanto Co. is on track to win U.S. antitrust approval by the end of May, unless there is a last-minute complication, a source familiar with the matter said on last Thursday.
The $62.5 billion takeover, one of a trio of major deals in the agribusiness sector in recent years, would create a company with a share of more than a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticides market in the fast-consolidating farm supplies market.
Bayer declined to comment on the status of the antitrust review in the U.S.
The deal, first announced in 2016, received European Union regulatory approval in March.
And earlier this month, Bayer reportedly reached a preliminary agreement with the U.S. trustbusters by agreeing to sell a few more seed assets along with its digital-farming business.
On Thursday, Bayer said it had agreed to sell more crop science businesses to BASF in a deal that fulfills commitments made to the EU as part of its takeover of Monsanto.
The package, being sold for up to 1.7 billion euros ($2.1 billion), includes its global vegetable seeds business, certain seed treatments and digital farming activities with total sales of 745 million euros in 2017.
“With this move, we are implementing the corresponding undertakings made to the European Commission and other regulatory authorities to allow the successful closing of the Monsanto transaction,” Werner Baumann, chairman of the board of management of Bayer, said in a statement.
A future combined Bayer and Monsanto expects to spend about $16 billion on research and development over the next six years with at least half of the investment made in the United States. Monsanto currently spends about $1.5 billion annually on R&D domestically.
It is unclear how much of the future R&D spending would occur in the St. Louis area, where Monsanto’s research and development resources are headquartered.
Since 2013, the company has committed $400 million to improving and expanding facilities at its Chesterfield Research Center.