German chemicals giant Bayer has pushed back its expected completion date for its takeover of US rival Monsanto.
Bayer announced to shareholders yesterday that it expects to complete the $66bn (£49bn) deal in “early 2018”.
Previously, the firm had guided that it would tie up the transaction by the end of this year.
Bayer also yesterday said that it had asked for an extension of the European Commission’s review into the deal.
The commission initiated an in-depth investigation on 22 August. On Monday this week, Bayer requested that the probe be extended by 10 working days until 22 January next year.
Liam Condon, a management board member and president of its crop science division, said: “In view of this, an anticipated closing of the deal in early 2018 is now more likely than end of 2017.”
Bayer agreed its takeover deal for US seeds firm Monsanto in September last year after two other formal offers were rejected.