EU Extends Bayer-Monsanto Deadline

30.01.2018 -

Bayer’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto faces another delay after European regulators extended their investigation by five days to Mar. 12.

The European Commission has not given a reason for the extension, which effectively gives the German group a new deadline of midnight on Feb. 5 to propose further concessions. The deadline has already been extended once after the Commission opened an in-depth review of the merger last August.

Bayer has already committed to sell certain crop science businesses to German rival BASF for €5.9 billion but is said to be bracing itself for antitrust authorities to require further asset sales.

India also raised its concerns on the merger earlier this month. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that Bayer’s proposed buyout of Monsanto would adversely hit competitors’ operations. Consequently, the antitrust authority launched a public consultation on Jan. 5.

However, according to reports in the Indian media, Bayer said it was still confident of getting approval from the CCI, hopefully by April/May.

The deal is now valued at $63.5 billion including debt, which is $2.5 billion less than the initial price tag of $66 billion after Monsanto lowered its financial liabilities last October.

If it goes ahead, the transaction would make Bayer the world’s largest supplier of seeds and agrochemicals, surpassing ChemChina, which acquired Syngenta last year, DowDuPont and BASF.