Bayer Pledges More Concessions on Monsanto

07.02.2018 -

Following the European Commission’s late-January extension of its lengthened probe into the planned Bayer-Monsanto merger, the German group said on Feb. 5 it had offered additional concessions that it called "very significant," adding that it is confident the proposals will "fully address" the Commission's concerns.

Neither Bayer nor the EU regulatory body was prepared to provide details on the additional divestments. A source told the news agency Reuters that the offer is a “very diverse package,” and “not just about divesting assets. It added that, depending on the feedback received from third parties, divestments could still be made.

Another source told the news agency that beyond the business Bayer has agreed to sell to compatriot BASF, the divestment package could include additional vegetable seeds assets in some EU countries.

In the coming days, the Commission is said to be planning to seek comment from industry rivals and customers on the revised divestment package.

The controversial merger plans have met with widespread opposition both from environmentalists and farmers, with the EU regulators receiving more than 50,000 petition emails and more than 5,000 letters.

In a statement seen by Reuters, the now life science-focused former chemical producer said it expects a deal to take place early this year, as soon as all regulatory hurdles have been taken.

The original agreement between Bayer and Monsanto called for the German group to pay $66 billion. The deal is now officially worth $63.5 billion including debt, $2.5 billion below the as Monsanto lowered its financial liabilities in October 2017.