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US: Bayer forced to shed US$9b in Agribusiness in biggest ever antitrust sell-off

 |  May 29, 2018

According to CNBC Drug-maker Bayer, agreeing to the largest divestiture in American antitrust enforcement history, will sell agricultural businesses and assets worth about $9 billion to chemical giant BASF, clearing the way for approval of its $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

The assets include Bayer’s canola, soybean and vegetable seed businesses, as well as its Liberty herbicide business, all of which currently compete with Monsanto products.

The Justice Department, in revealing the settlement it reached with Bayer, said the sell-off will “preserve competition threatened by Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto.” Without the divestiture, the department said, the “merger is unlawful.”

Germany-based Bayer and St. Louis-based Monsanto are two of the world’s biggest agricultural companies, and currently compete against one another to sell farmers seed and crop protection products, the department noted. BASF is the largest chemical producer in the world.

Bayer still is awaiting approval from the governments of Canada and Mexico for the tie-up. The company has until June 14 to close its purchase of Monsanto. After that, Monsanto has the right to withdraw from the deal or ask for a higher price.

Full Content: CNBC

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