Bayer sees more antitrust asset sales ahead

Frankfurt | Reuters — Bayer said it expected antitrust authorities to make the planned acquisition of Monsanto conditional on more asset sales after agreeing to sell seed and herbicide businesses for 5.9 billion euro (C$8.8 billion) to BASF.

“By no means did the deal that was signed with BASF constitute the totality of antitrust divestitures… The agencies will render their verdict on what the necessary remedies are. It’s probably a first step and somewhat more is to come,” CEO Werner Baumann told an analyst call on Thursday after the release of third-quarter results.

Earlier this month, European regulators pushed back the Jan. 22, 2018 deadline on the Monsanto approval process so that the companies can garner information they have been asked for.

Baumann said that a second such situation, known as “stop the clock,” had emerged but he was hopeful the required data could very soon be provided to the European antitrust watchdog.

Bayer reiterated it was planning to wrap up the Monsanto deal in early 2018.

Reporting for Reuters by Ludwig Burger.

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