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Bayer could get U.S. approval for Monsanto deal on Tuesday - source

Bayer could get U.S. approval for Monsanto deal on Tuesday - source
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By Patricia Weiss

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Bayer <BAYGn.DE> could be granted conditional U.S. antitrust approval for its planned takeover of Monsanto <MON.N> as soon as Tuesday, clearing a major hurdle for the $62.5 billion (47.2 billion pound) deal, a person familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Bayer has already come to an agreement in principle on what it would take to win approval from the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), after adjusting the planned divestment of assets to include digital farming to assuage antitrust concerns.

Both Bayer and the DoJ declined to comment.

The German pharmaceuticals and life sciences company had said it was on track to wrap up the deal soon. If the deal is not closed by June 14, Monsanto could withdraw from the takeover agreement and seek a higher price.

Bayer has already secured the go-ahead from key jurisdictions including the European Union, Brazil and Russia. Apart from the United States, it still needs clearance in Canada and Mexico.

Bayer last week said synergies from folding Monsanto into its organisation would be about $300 million below its previous target because it will have to sell more businesses than initially expected.

Bayer has agreed to sell assets, which include seed and crop chemicals activities, with revenues of 2.2 billion euro ($2.6 billion) to rival BASF <BASFn.DE> for 7.6 billion euros.

(Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger and Diane Bartz; Editing by Edward Taylor, Douglas Busvine and Mark Potter)

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