March 8, 2018 / 11:55 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-BASF seeks EU antitrust approval to buy Bayer assets

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BRUSSELS, March 8 (Reuters) - Germany's BASF has asked for European Commission approval to buy assets from drugmaker Bayer, the company which needs to shed businesses to get clearance for its $63.5 billion merger with Monsanto, a filing showed.

The Commission, which gave no further details on the deal being examined, set a preliminary deadline of April 16 to decide on the matter.

The Commission, which acts as competition watchdog in the European Union, added its assessment of the BASF request did not automatically mean it was satisfied with the commitments made by Bayer.

Earlier this year, Bayer said it had made "very significant" concessions to the Commission, adding it was confident they would fully address competition concerns.

Bayer has already pledged to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for 5.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion) to BASF and is also in talks to sell its vegetable seeds business. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans)

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