The chief executives of Bayer and Monsanto, Werner Baumann and Hugh Grant, met U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday to win his support for the German takeover of its U.S. rival.
“It was a productive meeting, focusing on the future of agriculture and the need for innovations,” a Bayer spokesman told news agency Retuers. He declined to give further details.
The two bosses met with Mr. Trump at his transition headquarters in New York and touted the creation of jobs once the takeover is concluded, U.S. broadcaster FOX Business Network reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Bayer is expected to face close scrutiny in the U.S., because the two firms would have a large position in the seeds market. Rob Fraley, Monsanto innovation chief
Mr. Trump has vowed to bring manufacturing jobs back to America and has criticized companies, for instance General Motors, for making products outside the United States.
A number of politicians in big farming states such as Iowa and Nebraska hav expressed concerns about the possibility of nearly 40 percent of U.S. corn and soybean seeds being sold by non-U.S. companies if Monsanto becomes German-owned.
Bayer, a maker of chemicals and drugs, agreed with Monsanto in September that it would buy the Missouri-based seeds and pesticides maker for $66 billion (€62 billion), the largest ever foreign takeover by a German firm.
The deal, however, still needs to win approval by antitrust regulators in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. Bayer is expected to face close scrutiny in the U.S., because the two firms would have a large position in the seeds market, especially for cotton, soy beans and rapeseed, according to Reuters.
If all conditions are met, the deal is expected close by the end of the year and would make Bayer the world’s largest maker of seeds and pesticides.
Gilbert Kreijger is an editor with Handelsblatt Global in Berlin, covering companies and markets. To contact the author: [email protected]