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Muscatine's Monsanto plant is at 2500 Wiggins Road, just east of Fruitland. 

Monsanto may have a new owner, but Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Greg Jenkins is hopeful the only change will be the name.

German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG says it has completed its purchase of U.S. seed and weed-killer maker Monsanto Co. Bayer said Thursday that it is now the sole owner of the company and Monsanto shares will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Bayer has put the cost of the deal at some $63 billion including debt.

“The Monsanto plant in Muscatine is a vital piece of the Monsanto organization in total, they produce three unique herbicides that are vital to the success of Monsanto, so I think this plant will be recognized as one that is not only strong in its ability to deliver product, but also vital in its location being centralized like it is in the middle of farm country so it has ready access to the customers, makes products that they need ...” Jenkins said.

The Muscatine plant opened in 1961 and employs about 400 people. It produces selective chemistry products and glyphosate-based herbicide products, according to a 2017 news release from the company and completed a $50 million expansion last year. 

“Monsanto’s a great company," Jenkins said. "They’re a vital part of our community. The people that work at Monsanto are great to work with, they’re very bright people, they’re committed to Muscatine — their management team on down through.”

To obtain regulatory approval, Bayer has committed to divest some businesses, agreeing among other things to the U.S. government's demand that it sell about $9 billion in agriculture activities. It says the process of integrating Monsanto is expected to start in about two months.

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