Skip to main content

European Commission greenlights Bayer-Monsanto mega-merger

posted onMarch 22, 2018
nocomment

The European Commission, EU's executive arm, has approved the acquisition of U.S. seed maker Monsanto by German conglomerate Bayer. Monsanto had agreed to accept Bayer's offer to purchase the company for $66 billion ($128/share) in September 2016 but the deal was pending regulatory approval. 

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said on Wednesday: "We have approved Bayer's plans to take over Monsanto because the parties' remedies, worth well over €6 billion, meet our competition concerns in full. Our decision ensures that there will be effective competition and innovation in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture markets also after this merger.

In particular, we have made sure that the number of global players actively competing in these markets stays the same. That is important because we need competition to ensure farmers have a choice of different seed varieties and pesticides at affordable prices. And we need competition to push companies to innovate in digital agriculture and to continue to develop new products that meet the high regulatory standards in Europe, to the benefit of all Europeans and the environment."

The deal is the last of three big agricultural transactions that are reshaping the agrochemicals industry. U.S. chemicals giants Dow Chemical and Dupont, and ChemChina and  Swiss-based Syngenta had earlier led a wave of consolidation in the sector. 

Environmental and farming groups have opposed all three deals, arguing that they severely restrict choice and options for both farmers and consumers in a market already dominated by a few large players. 
The Commission received more than a million petitions concerning the latest mega-merger 
which would create the world's largest integrated pesticides and seeds group.

“This is a marriage made in hell. The Commission ignored a million people who called on them to block this deal, and caved in to lobbying to create a mega-corporation which will dominate our food supply,” online campaigns group Avaaz legal director Nick Flynn said. 

Adrian Bebb of Friends of the Earth Europe said Bayer, Monsanto and BASF will  “become data giants in agriculture, the Facebooks of farming, with all the pitfalls that entails” 

Konkurrenz Group, a leading law firm specialised in mergers and acquisitions said on its website:

“This merger isn’t just breaking the law, it makes all of our food systems more vulnerable.” The Group warns the merger will lead to fragile monocultures, use of disastrous pesticides and rising food prices”Consumers could also be faced with fewer organic and non-GMO food options.”

Bayer was founded in Barmen, Germany in 1863. The Leverkusen-headquartered company is still best known for making aspirin but was established as a maker of synthetic dyes for textiles before expanding into pharmaceuticals. Over the years the company grew through a series of acquisitions, becoming a drug and chemicals giant.Today, Bayer has annual revenues of 35.015 billion euros  and 99,820 employees worldwide.

Monsanto was founded in the St. Louis, Missouri in 1901 to produce saccharine. By the 1940s, the company was producing farm-oriented chemicals. In 1976, it launched probably its most famous product, the weedkiller Roundup. In the 1980s, its scientists were the first to genetically modify a plant cell. Monsanto then started buying other seed companies and began field trials of genetically modified seeds.Today, Monsanto has annual revenues of some $15 billion and some 25,000 employees.

UPDATE 10/04/2018 17:09

According to a news report in the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Justice Department will allow Bayer’s megadeal to acquire Monsanto after the companies pledged to sell off additional assets to secure government antitrust approval.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, WSJ
 

 

line black 1300
line black 1300

SPRING ESCAPE IDEAS

By Newsroom

Kyoto is the iconic tourist spot of Japan and its best season is spring in April. All over the city clouds of beautiful cherry blossoms bloom and draw visitors from every corner of Japan and the world; every evening the trees are lit and give a truly enchanting display.  
 

By Newsroom

Sorrento, perched picturesquely on a plateau above the sea with spectacular views over the Bay of Naples, has been a popular tourist destination for almost two centuries. This beautiful seaside community makes a great base for visiting the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Pompeii. 

By Newsroom

April isn’t actually spring in Argentina — it’s fall. Which happens to be harvest season for the hundreds of vineyards that call Mendoza home. Every March through May, the region attracts more than 70,000 wine lovers to witness the gathering of the grapes in one of Argentina’s most prolific winemaking zones. 

By Newsroom

Maramures is probably the most wonderful hidden secret of Romania. Like walking into a fairy tale or stepping back into medieval Europe.  Maramures has the most UNESCO monuments in the country. But besides the monuments, you’ll love the welcoming people, scenery and gastronomy. 
 

By Newsroom

Madagascar, a huge island nation off the southeast coast of Africa, is home to thousands of animal species – like lemurs – found nowhere else, plus rainforests, beaches and reefs. Miles and miles of stunning coastline wrap around the island.  Turtles visit the beaches, dolphins and whales appear in its waters revelling in the crystal clear water of this wonderland. 

By Newsroom

With over 14 miles of idyllic beaches, a range of modern resorts and accommodations, excellent shopping, dining and nightlife, Cancun is one of Mexico`s most popular destinations and one which keeps visitors coming back again and again.

By Newsroom

The most popular island holiday destination in the Indonesian archipelago is home to an ancient culture that's known for its warm hospitality.Exotic temples and palaces set against stunning natural backdrops 

01.

Kyoto, Japan: The cherry blossoms create one of the most spectacular spring sights in the city

02.

Sorrento,Italy: Cobblestone streets, small, rocky beaches and picture-perfect views of Mount Vesuvius and Naples 

03.

Mendoza, Argentina: Loved for its tree-lined streets, sunny days, Malbec wine and restaurants and spas

04.

Maramures, Romania: Widely regarded as the country's most traditional region

05.

Madagascar, Africa: One of the most jaw-dropping and fascinating wildlife hotspots

06.

Cancun, Mexico: Surrounded by clear Caribbean waters it has much more to offer than its party-town reputation might suggest.

07.

Bali, Indonesia: Stunning beaches, scenic rice paddies and deep sense of spirituality draw millions of foreign visitors