Monsanto sale raises concerns about keeping jobs in St. Louis area

Monsanto’s looming sale to Bayer AG could have a significant impact on the St. Louis region, but neither company is providing specifics yet on potential job losses.

In announcing the deal Wednesday, Bayer and Creve Coeur-based Monsanto said the combined company’s seeds and traits business and its North American commercial headquarters would be based in the St. Louis area when the sale finalizes in 2017. The companies said their global crop protection and overall crop science businesses will be based in Monheim, Germany. Bayer’s headquarters is in Leverkusen, Germany.

Details on specific job impacts will likely depend on what the combined company ultimately looks like. Significant antitrust hurdles remain, and a combined company will probably have to sell overlapping businesses. In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann declined to name which pieces he viewed as overlapping and said it’s “way to early to talk about individual sites and impacts on individual sites.”

Monsanto said Wednesday that it has 4,100 employees in the St. Louis region, not including several hundred remote workers, temporary employees or contractors.

Bayer has promised to find $1.5 billion in “synergies” over the next three years, a term that often means cost cuts in overlapping areas.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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