Bayer says wins conditional US approval for Monsanto takeover

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Frankfurt am Main (AFP)

German chemicals firm Bayer said on Tuesday it had won conditional approval from the US Justice Department for its proposed $62.5 billion takeover of US seeds and pesticide maker Monsanto.

"Receipt of the DOJ's approval brings us close to our goal of creating a leading company in agriculture," Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said in a statement.

According to the US decision, the acquisition of Monsanto can happen as soon as planned divestments to BASF have been accomplished, Bayer said, adding this was likely within two months.

Bayer was previously told by competition authorities, including the European Commission, to sacrifice existing activities in seeds and pesticides worth 7.6 billion euros ($8.8 billion) to homegrown rival BASF in exchange for approval of the Monsanto deal.

That means there will be less overlap and fewer savings when Bayer assumes the US firm's product range of genetically-modified seeds and compatible pesticides.

The EU approved the buyout, which is to create the world's biggest integrated pesticide and seeds company, in March.