Bayer-Monsanto merger gets Justice Dept. approval

In a $62.5 billion deal, Bayer’s takeover of Monsanto reportedly cleared its last regulatory hurdle with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The announcement sent Monsanto stock surging on Monday.

“With Bayer leading the regulatory process for the pending merger, the companies continue to cooperate with regulators and have seen solid progress,” according to Monsanto’s earnings statement issued last Thursday. “The number of anti-trust approvals continues to increase, most notably from the European Commission, China and Brazil, and, as a part of this process, Bayer has announced several planned divestitures. With these actions, Monsanto continues to be confident in the companies’ collective ability to secure the required approvals within the second calendar quarter of 2018 and in the time contemplated by the agreement.”

The largest all-cash buy-out on record and Bayer’s largest deal ever got European Union approval in March.

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant jointly announced Bayer’s proposed takeover of Monsanto in September of 2016.

Baumann called it a “truly historic day” for both companies and stated in a release that both were committed to helping solve “one of the biggest challenges of society – and that is how to feed a massively growing world population in an environmentally sustainable manner.”

The two signed a definitive merger agreement stating LeverKusen, Germany-based Bayer will acquire St. Louis-based Monsanto. Also in a release, Monsanto stated the combined companies would benefit from Monsanto’s leadership in Seeds & Traits and Climate Corporation platform along with Bayer’s broad Crop Protection product line.

Baumann did not comment further on the outlook for Monsanto at that time.

But Monsanto’s local commitment was expressed in a nearly $1 billion expansion of its Luling plant to make the chemical dicamba for its herbicide called Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System.

At the time of the agreement, plans were to have the global Seeds & Traits and North American commercial headquarters in St. Louis, the global Crop Protection and overall Crop Science headquarters in Monheim, Germany, and an presence in Durham, N.C., as well as many other locations throughout the U.S. and around the world, according to Monsanto.

The Digital Farming activities for the combined business were to be based in San Francisco, Calif.

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