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After months of negotiating, divesting and waiting, Bayer and Monsanto will fully merge. The German-based company says the integration of Monsanto into the Bayer Group can begin following the completion on Thursday of the divestment by Bayer to BASF of certain Crop Science businesses. While the name Monsanto will eventually disappear, brand names such as Dekalb, Asgrow and Channel remain untouched.

Bayer became the sole shareholder of Monsanto on June 7 of this year but could not integrate the two businesses until divestments to BASF were finalized. These included Bayer's field crops business, vegetable seeds business, digital platform xarvio and certain other assets. The U.S. Department of Justice required the divestments to be finalized prior to integration.

"The acquisition of Monsanto gives rise to a leading agriculture company with a high level of innovative strength, a strong product portfolio and the highest ethical standards," the company said in a recent press release. "As previously communicated, Bayer expects that the acquisition will already make a positive contribution to core earnings per share starting in 2019, with a double-digit percentage from 2021 onward. From 2022, annual contributions of 1.2 billion U.S. dollars to EBITDA before special items are planned from synergies. Moreover, Bayer will further strengthen its commitment to sustainability."

Prior to today, Bayer did not have access to detailed information about Monsanto. With today's integration the company "gains the ability to become actively involved in defense efforts in the glyphosate trials and any other legal disputes, such as potential claims for damages in connection with the product dicamba."

Bayer believes courts ultimately will find glyphosate and Monsanto were not responsible for cancer. "Decades of real world experience and the conclusions or regulators around the world that all confirm glyphosate is safe and does not causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma."

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