German pharmaceutical and chemical maker Bayer said it would likely take until early next year to complete the planned $66 billion takeover of Creve Coeur-based Monsanto, which it had previously expected to be under wraps by the end of 2017.
The European Commission has been scrutinizing the takeover with a deadline of Jan. 8. Bayer said in a statement it had asked the regulator for an extension to Jan. 22, to which the EU Commission responded by saying it would take a decision shortly.
Liam Condon, head of Bayer’s Crop Science division, said: “An anticipated closing of the deal in early 2018 is now more likely than end of the 2017.”
The Commission last month started an in-depth investigation of the takeover, saying it was worried about competition in various pesticide and seeds markets.