New Delhi: German chemical and pharma major Bayer said it has received “conditional” approval from the European Commission for its proposed USD 66 billion acquisition of US-based biotech major Monsanto.
India is among the countries that are yet to give the nod.
Bayer and Monsanto are working closely with the authorities in the US with the goal of closing the transaction in the second quarter of 2018, the company said.
“Receipt of the European Commission’s approval is a major success and a significant milestone, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said in a statement.
Together with Monsanto, we want to help farmers across the world grow more nutritious food in a more sustainable way that benefits both consumers and the environment,” he said.
According to Bayer, the conditions cover in particular the divestment of certain Bayer businesses, including the global field crop seeds business such as canola, cotton, and soybean (with minor exceptions restricted to the Asia region), the R&D platform for hybrid wheat, the global vegetable seeds business, the global glufosinate ammonium business as well as certain glyphosate-based herbicides in Europe, predominantly for industrial use.
In addition, Monsanto’s global business with the nematicide NemaStrike must be divested.
The conditions also stipulate the transfer of three Bayer research projects in the area of non-selective herbicides and the granting of a license to Bayer’s digital farming portfolio. BASF is the intended purchaser of these assets.
The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals, the company added.
In India, both entities have a presence in production and sale of vegetable seeds, cotton seeds as well as in production and sale of non-selective herbicides, according to that notice.
Bayer group is present in India since 1896 and has two divisions — crop science and pharmaceuticals. The group has one listed entity in India — Bayer CropScience Ltd that posted a revenue from the operation of nearly Rs 3,000 crore last fiscal.