Germany’s Bayer AG will wrap up the $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto and also retire the US seeds maker’s 117 year-old name. The German drugmaker had received all required approvals from regulatory authorities, it said in a statement on Monday.
The companies’ separately listed Indian units, Bayer CropScience Ltd and Monsanto India Ltd, will continue to operate independently for the time being, Bayer said in a separate statement.
“Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio,” it said.
Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile US plans to merge with Sprint for $26 billion, while industrial gases makers Linde and Praxair are also seeking to combine.
Bayer was expected to rid itself of the target’s name. Monsanto, the largest—though not the only—maker of genetically modified (GM) seeds, has been a lightning rod for environmentalists’ opposition to the technology.
The US seed maker has also drawn criticism for pursuing its intellectual property rights with farmers, many of which depend on its GM seeds, more aggressively than its peers.
“We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill,” Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in the statement.
Bayer launched a €6 billion ($7 billion) rights issue , a cornerstone of the financing package for the deal, shortly after clearing the last major antitrust hurdle in the US.
The Bayer-Monsanto deal is the first of a trio of major US-German merger deals to cross the finish line at a time of harsh criticism by US President Donald Trump of Germany’s trade surplus with the United States.