US President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team have spent part of the week meeting with the powers that be behind some of the largest M&A deals currently seeking regulatory approval. On Thursday, it was AT&T (NYSE: T) CEO Randall Stephenson's turn.
Trump singled out the telecom's $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner during his campaign, vowing to block the deal if elected. However, Stephenson and Trump did not discuss the matter during an hour-long meeting, according to The Wall Street Journal. Rather, Trump's focus was reportedly on the potential role AT&T might play in his plans for job creation, trade and improvements to the wider economy—a common topic in his team's meetings with top executives.
On Wednesday, meanwhile, Trump met with executives from both Bayer (ETR: BAYN) and Monsanto (NYSE: MON), including Bayer CEO Werner Baumann and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant. Bayer's $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto will require regulatory approval from the US to move forward. The meeting focused on "the future of agriculture and the need for innovation," a Bayer spokesperson told Reuters.
The deal will likely require Bayer to spin off certain seed businesses that overlap with Monsanto's own offerings in order to pass muster. That could reportedly include Bayer's LibertyLink line of crops. Some of Trump's advisors have pushed back against the announced deals involving not only Bayer and Monsanto merging, but also a pending merger between Dow and Dupont and another between Syngenta and ChemChina.