Bayer AG raised its outlook for the year, citing a rebound in chemicals and crop products, as management works to sew up its $66 billion takeover of agriculture giant Monsanto Co., reports Johannes Kock on Bloomberg.com.
Earnings before special items will likely rise by a percentage in the low teens and sales will grow to a record 51 billion euros ($55.6 billion) this year, the Leverkusen, Germany-based company said in a statement on Thursday. Covestro, the chemicals unit, is now able to raise prices, and demand for crop protection products has rebounded in North America, Bayer said.
Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann aims to close the Monsanto transaction this year, even as a cascade of industry deals sparks intense regulatory scrutiny, and said discussions with U.S. regulators are proceeding on track. Bayer may put some of its seed businesses up for sale to assuage antitrust concerns, people familiar with the matter said last month.
“We are working diligently through the questions, and also actually in Europe, where we still have to file in quarter two,” Baumann said in a Bloomberg television interview with Guy Johnson. Rivals such as China National Chemical Corp. and Syngenta AG won approval for their planned combination this month, which is “also a strong testimony to our perspective of closing by the end of the year,” he said.