German chemicals giant Bayer closed on 7 June its US$62.5bn acquisition on US agrichem firm Monsanto, officially forming the largest single player in the agritech sector.
Bayer would become the sole owner of Monsanto, which would have its shares cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Bayer said in a statement on the day of closing the deal.
“We aim to live up to the heightened responsibility that a leadership position in agriculture entails and to deepen our dialogue with society,” said Werner Baumann, chair of the Bayer board. “Our sustainability targets are as important to us as our financial targets.”
As part of the acquisition, Bayer would immediately drop the ‘Monsanto’ name and operate simply under the name ‘Bayer’, with all of Monsanto’s products retaining their brand names but moving under the Bayer portfolio, said Reuters.
The integration process of Bayer and Monsanto would begin in approximately two months, said Bayer.
Monsanto would operate independently until Bayer had completed its divestments to BASF, required under the conditional merger approval given by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the EU.
As part of the agreement with the DOJ, Bayer would sell roughly US$9bn worth of assets, which DOJ Antitrust Division head Makan Delrahim called the “largest divestiture ever required by the USA”.
Bayer had committed to selling its entire cotton, canola, soyabean and vegetable seeds businesses and digital farming business, alongside its Liberty herbicides that compete with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, in order to secure worldwide regulatory approvals.