Monsanto shares jump on report of US approval of Bayer deal

New York (AFP) –


Shares of agricultural giant Monsanto surged Monday following a report that the US Justice Department would approve its acquisition by Bayer, the last major hurdle facing the deal.

Near 1900 GM, Monsanto was up 6.5 percent at $125.47 after The Wall Street Journal reported US antitrust regulators would greenlight the mega-deal after the companies agreed to sell additional assets.

US officials are requiring Germany's Bayer to divest additional seed and seed-treatment assets and adjust its digital agriculture business, The Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

The European Union last month approved the deal following a pledge by the two companies to sell more than 6 billion euros ($7.4 billion) in assets.

Chinese officials had previously approved the deal.

The transaction, strongly criticized by farmers and environmentalists, was first announced in September 2016. The value of the deal was originally $66 billion but that was prior to a series of divestitures required by regulators.