Bayer cleared a major regulatory hurdle in its $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto on Wednesday, winning European Union approval of the deal after agreeing to sell certain seeds, pesticides and digital technology to competitor BASF. Bayer, the German chemical and pharmaceutical company, is still awaiting U.S. regulatory approval of its deal for Monsanto.
Nevertheless, Wednesday’s decision marks a major step in a takeover first announced in September 2016.
The Bayer-Monsanto tie-up is one of three transactions changing the face of the global agriculture business as shifting market conditions drive consolidation in the industry. Deals between Dow and DuPont, and ChemChina and Syngenta, like the Bayer-Monsanto deal, have been met by resistance from environmental and farmer groups.
Bayer said it’s still planning to complete the Monsanto deal by the end of the second quarter.