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European regulators give conditional approval to Bayer-Monsanto deal

Monsanto is expected to keep a large operation in the St. Louis region after the Bayer buyout goes into effect.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Monsanto is expected to keep a large operation in the St. Louis region after the Bayer buyout goes into effect.

A critical part of Bayer's multi-billion dollar buyout of Creve Coeur-based Monsanto has been approved. The European Union has signed off on the deal, but with conditions. 

Both companies will have to shed units and make other adjustments totaling roughly $7.5 billion. Bayer and Monsanto have agreed to what the EU calls "remedies" to ensure fair competition.

Those decisions "meet our competition concerns in full," said EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. She also said in a news release that without the concessions, the acquisition would have hindered innovation and reduced competition.

Regulators in the U.S. and Russia are still reviewing the deal. Conditional approval has been granted in China, and antitrust officials in Brazil have approved the buyout.

Monsanto and Bayer announced the deal in 2016. It is valued at around $66 billion, including $9 billion in debt. The buyout will create the world's largest integrated pesticides and seeds company.

The companies have stated St. Louis will remain a vital part of operations. The global seeds division and the North American commercial headquarters will be in the region.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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