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7-Misc: Monsanto's Delta & Pine Land deal still under antitrust review

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Justice reviewing Monsanto's Delta & Pine Land buy
WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters)

The Justice Department's antitrust team is still reviewing life sciences 
firm Monsanto Co.'s deal to acquire cotton seed maker Delta & Pine Land 
Co., a government spokeswoman said Thursday. "We are reviewing it," the 
spokeswoman said, adding she could not say anything more about the case 
because it's pending. When asked how much longer it will take for Justice 
to consider the case, the spokeswoman replied, "We don't give timelines." 
Monsanto, whose products include Roundup herbicides and Nutrasweet 
artificial sweeteners, agreed in May to acquire Delta and Pine Land in a 
stock swap. Analysts say the deal could raise red flags at Justice 
because Delta and Pine Land is the largest U.S. cotton seed maker, and 
Monsanto's Stoneville cotton unit is the second biggest. Monsanto said in 
January it planned to auction Stoneville in early 1999, a move analysts 
said would bring it closer to government approval of the acquisition. But 
company officials also said they had nothing new to report."The 
conversations are ongoing with the Department of Justice," a spokeswoman 
for St. Louis-based Monsanto said.

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