Bayer wins U.S. approval for Monsanto deal

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Bayer wins U.S. approval for Monsanto deal

Bayer has won conditional approval from U.S. authorities for its planned takeover of Monsanto (NYSE:MON), after agreeing to sell about US$9 billion in assets. 

The development means the German crop chemical company has passed a major hurdle in its intended US$62.5 billion acquisition of the U.S. seed company. 

The asset sales are the largest ever required by the U.S., paving the way for Bayer to close the deal by the end of June.

"Receipt of the DOJ's [Department of Justice] approval brings us close to our goal of creating a leading company in agriculture," said Bayer CEO Werner Baumann.

Bayer has now obtained almost all clearances which are conditions for closing the transaction, having obtained EU approval in March. The company expects to receive any outstanding approvals required for completing the transaction "very shortly".

The recent approval brings  Bayer closer to creating an agricultural supplies giant with sales of about €20 billion (US$23 billion).

The company committed to selling its entire cotton, canola, soybean and vegetable seeds businesses and digital farming businesses, as well as its Liberty herbicide, which competes with Monsanto's Roundup.

Under agreements with European antitrust authorities, Bayer agreed to sell assets with revenues of €2.2 billion (US$2.6 billion) to its rival BASF for €7.6 billion (US$8.9 billion).

Having secured the approval of the U.S., the E.U., Brazil and Russia, Bayer now needs clearance from Canada and Mexico.

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