Consolidation Decisions

By Pam Smith
DTN Progressive Farmer Crops Technology Editor

DECATUR, Ill. (DTN) -- Bayer has edged another step closer to its acquisition of Monsanto. Today, Dec. 1, the companies announced the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has completed a review of the union and found no concerns.

CFIUS is the U.S. committee that screens proposed foreign investments for national security concerns, and includes representatives from the Treasury, Defense, State, Justice and Commerce departments.

The two companies say they will continue to cooperate with other authorities to complete the merger by early 2018.

Earlier this week, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said in a Reuters news report that the antitrust review of the company's pending $63.5 billion acquisition of Monsanto Company is going into "unimaginable depths."

"To illustrate the point, we have by now delivered more than 4 million pages of documents to the EU commission," Baumann said in that Reuters report.

In September, Bayer pushed back its expected closing date for the deal from the end of 2017 to early 2018. In October, the companies said the European review of the transaction would likely conclude in March.

Bayer recently reduced the value of the merger, from $66 billion to $63.5 billion, after Monsanto lowered its financial liabilities.

In October, Bayer also signed a deal to sell portions of its crop science division to competitor BASF for about $7 billion in order to address potential regulatory concerns around the merger.

Whether antitrust authorities will view the BASF divestiture package favorably or require additional structural remedies is yet to be seen. Some seed industry analysts have indicated concerns about overlapping and vegetable seed businesses during interviews with DTN.

Pamela Smith can be reached at Pamela.smith@dtn.com

Follow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN

(AG)

12/04/17
News Source: 
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