April 20, 2018 / 8:47 AM / a month ago

Russian nod moves Bayer closer to wrapping up Monsanto deal

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Russia’s antitrust regulator FAS has approved Bayer’s BAYGN.DE planned takeover of Monsanto (MON.N), the German drugs and crop chemicals maker said, as it enters the home stretch to closing the $62.5 billion deal.

FILE PHOTO: Monsanto logo is displayed on a screen where the stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S. on May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo -

Russia was one of the few jurisdictions to be won over, after the European Commission last month gave conditional clearance and after a source said Bayer struck an agreement in principle with the U.S. Department of Justice.

FILE PHOTO - The logo of Germany's largest drugmaker Bayer is pictured in Leverkusen April 26, 2014. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender/File Photo

“Bayer has agreed to enable the transfer of defined technologies to Russian recipients in the area of seeds breeding and digital farming for a period of five years,” the company said in a statement.

    As part of these concessions, it would share some genetic know-how on corn, wheat, oil seed rape, soybean and vegetable seeds. It would also grant “non-discriminatory” access to digital farming technologies once they were available in Russia, Bayer said.

    Bayer in February took Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) to court over the review procedure, in a bid to win more time to discuss the regulator’s demands.

    Earlier this week, the German group raised 3 billion euros (£2.62 billion) by selling a 3.6 percent stake to Singapore’s state investment company, with further moves expected to increase its capital.

    Bayer previously said it would only launch a cash call once it had sufficient clarity that the deal, signed in September 2016, would get the go-ahead.

    Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Edmund Blair

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