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Monsanto shareholders back Bayer takeover

NEW YORK - Shareholders of Monsanto overwhelmingly approved Tuesday the $66 billion takeover of the US company by German chemicals giant Bayer.

Nearly 99 percent of Monsanto shareholders who voted on the deal supported the transaction, Monsanto said.

"We are pleased we received such strong support from our shareowners," said Monsanto chief executive Hugh Grant. "This is an important milestone as we work to combine our two complementary companies and deliver on our shared vision for the future of agriculture."

The transaction is one of several mega-deals in agriculture that still needs approval by antitrust officials in the US and Europe. Monsanto said it expects the deal to close by the end of 2017.

Shares of Monsanto rose 0.3 percent to $104.86 in mid-morning trade.

After a months-long pursuit, Bayer announced in September that Monsanto had accepted an offer of $128 per share.

But the deal has provoked criticism from environmental groups, who have called it a "marriage made in hell" because of Monsanto's long history of promoting genetically modified crops.

Bayer has vowed not to introduce GMOs in Europe if they are not wanted.

Published : December 13, 2016

By : Agence France-Presse