Bayer reports progress in talks with Russia over Monsanto deal

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Bayer said on Wednesday progress was being made in talks with Russia’s competition watchdog FAS over the company’s planned takeover of Monsanto.

“We moved ahead in the negotiations with FAS towards a mutually beneficial agreement to support the competitiveness of Russian agriculture, including transfer of technologies,” Bayer said in an emailed statement.

“It is important that we have found common ground for the key milestones with the intent to approve the acquisition of Monsanto in the nearest future,” Bayer said.

The German company last month filed a lawsuit in a Russian court against FAS after it made any approval conditional on Bayer sharing plant breeding technologies in Russia among other remedies, while extending the review of the deal.

An arbitration court in Moscow on Wednesday postponed the preliminary hearing of Bayer’s lawsuit until April 11 at the German company’s request, Russian news agencies reported.

Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Mark Potter