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Bayer's bid to buy Monsanto wins the Department of Justice's approval

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
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

German conglomerate Bayer AG’s $62.5 billion bid to acquire U.S. seeds company Monsanto has won approval from the U.S. Justice Department, after the companies said they would sell off additional assets, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The report said the department had reached an agreement in principle with the two companies in recent days, citing people familiar with the matter.

Bayer said in a statement it anticipated closing in the second quarter 2018.

“We remain confident in our ability to obtain all necessary regulatory approvals and look forward to continuing to work diligently with regulators to support that process,” it said.

The Justice Department and Monsanto both declined to comment.

Last week, Monsanto said in an earnings report that it was confident the United States and other needed regulatory approvals would be secured in the second quarter of this year.

The company did not host a conference call with analysts to discuss the earnings, as is its usual practice, because of the pending merger.

European Union antitrust regulators had approved the deal in March.

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