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Bayer says needs more time for Monsanto deal approval

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Bayer says needs more time for Monsanto deal approval

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MONHEIM, Germany (Reuters) – German drugs and pesticides maker Bayer <BAYGn.DE> said it would likely take until early next year to complete the planned $66 billion (49 billion pounds) takeover of U.S. seeds group Monsanto <MON.N>, which it had previously expected to be under wraps by the end of 2017. The European Commission has been scrutinizing the takeover with a deadline of Jan. 8. Bayer said in a statement it had asked the regulator for an extension to Jan. 22. The Commission last month started an in-depth investigation of the takeover, saying it was worried about competition in various pesticide and seeds markets. Bayer, which is holding a media event on its Crop Science business on Tuesday, also said the division would face volatile global markets for the rest of the year but that its embattled Brazilian business would return to growth in 2018. Bayer warned in June that poor sales at crop protection distributors in Brazil would full-year hit earnings.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)
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