Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto is now expected to close in early 2018 instead of late 2017, Liam Condon, Bayer management board member and president of the Crop Science Division, said Tuesday during his presentation at the company’s Future of Farming Dialog 2017, held Sept. 18-20.
Despite the anticipated delay, Condon said the company is making progress in the acquisition process. In late June 2017, Bayer filed a submission to obtain antitrust approval from the European Commission. On Aug. 22, the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation due to concerns that the merger may reduce competition in areas such as pesticides, seeds and traits, as it would create the world's largest integrated pesticide and seed company and combine two competitors.
At the time, Margrethe Vestager, European Union commissioner in charge of competition policy, said seeds and pesticide products are essential for farmers and, ultimately, consumers, which emphasizes the need to be thorough.
“We need to ensure effective competition so that farmers can have access to innovative products, better quality and also purchase products at competitive prices and at the same time maintain an environment where companies can innovate and invest in improved products,” she said.
In consultation with the European Commission, Bayer filed an application on Sept. 18 to extend the review deadline by 10 working days -- until Jan. 22, 2018 -- with the aim of facilitating an appropriate evaluation, given the size of the transaction. “In view of this, an anticipated closing of the deal in early 2018 is now more likely than end of 2017,” Condon said.
Bayer has submitted applications for clearance to almost all of the approximately 30 relevant authorities and has already received approvals from more than one-third of them.