German chemical company Bayer was given conditional European Union approval in its acquisition of Monsanto.
A Dow Jones report says the takeover bid, which is worth more than $60 billion, was only approved after both companies agreed to divest themselves of assets worth more than $7.3 billion dollars, in order to ease antitrust concerns. As a large part of the divestiture, Bayer plans to sell company assets to BASF, including most of its global broad acre seed and trait business, as well as three lines of research for non-selective herbicides. Monsanto’s nematode seed-treatment assets will also be sold to BASF, which will also buy Bayer’s entire vegetable seeds business.
The EU Competition Commission also says that Bayer and BASF will have to prove that BASF can be an active competitor of the merged company. The acquisition can only be finalized if and when the commission signs off on the BASF acquisitions.
The Dow Jones report quotes the Competition Commission Chair as saying their decision ensures that there will be effective competition and innovation in seeds, pesticides, and digital agriculture markets after the merger is complete.