Brazil's antitrust agency CADE (Administrative Council for Economic Defense) voted 4-2 to approve the merger of the two biggest agribusiness corporations on the planet—the acquisition of US Monsanto Company by German Bayer. The transaction, announced in 2016 as costing $66 billion, creates a conglomerate of agricultural pesticides and seeds with over 140 thousand employees, active in at least 75 countries, and business adding up to a yearly $25.8 billion.
To approve the move, CADE accepted Bayer's proposal to divest assets and soy and cotton seed businesses, as well as the sector of non-selective glufosinate-ammonium-based herbicides, which will be transferred to another giant in the sector, Basf, in an operation estimated at $7 billion.
Under the tie-up, Bayer and Monsanto have proposed “behavioral commitments” like transparency in commercial policies, as well as the banning of exclusivity in sale channels, product tying, and bundling. They also agreed on the broad, non-exclusive licensing of their products.
Deals must be monitored by independent watchdogs, CADE reported.
A total of 29 countries and international market-regulation entities have been notified of the merger. Half of them are yet to issue a statement, including antitrust agencies in the US and the EU.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira