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corporate watch

May 30, 2018

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Bayer wins US approval for Monsanto deal

FRANKFURT: Bayer won US antitrust approval for its planned takeover of Monsanto on condition that it sells about $9 billion in assets, the Justice Department said on Tuesday, clearing a major hurdle for the $62.5bn deal.

The divestiture required by US antitrust enforcers “aligns closely” with divestitures the European Union required, according to a source knowledgeable about the agreement between Bayer and the US government.

Makan Delrahim, who heads the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, said the asset sales agreed to by Bayer were the “largest ever divestiture ever required by the United States.”

In agreements with global antitrust enforcers, Bayer committed to sell its entire cotton, canola, soybean and vegetable seeds businesses and digital farming business, as well its Liberty herbicide, which competes with Monsanto’s Roundup.—Reuters

Nestle to cut up to 500 IT jobs in Switzerland

ZURICH: Nestle plans to eliminate up to 500 information technology jobs at its Swiss home base as its shifts work to an existing tech hub in Spain and other locations, the food and beverage giant said on Tuesday.

None of the group’s Swiss production sites will be affected by the plan, which is being presented to staff for consultation, it said in a statement.

Its Nespresso coffee business also plans to establish operational centres in Spain and Portugal to benefit from existing Nestle e-commerce and supply chain hubs, and intends to create a centre for boutique operations in Italy too.—Reuters

Swiss bank BCP halts business with Iran

LONDON: Swiss lender Banque de Commerce et de Placements (BCP) has suspended new transactions with Iran and is winding down activities with the country after US President Donald Trump’s pullout from the nuclear deal with Tehran, the bank said on Tuesday.

“We have suspended any new transaction related to Iran after May 8, 2018 and started the ‘wind down period’ within the framework of OFAC announcement,” the bank said in a emailed statement to Reuters, referring to the US Treasury’s sanctions enforcement arm.

Trump’s withdrawal from the accord on May 8 was announced in tandem with the re-imposition of US sanctions within 180 days, prompting several European companies to announce their exit from Iran.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2018