tie-up@ (Adds final decision)
BRASILIA, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian antitrust agency Cade on Wednesday approved Bayer AG's proposed takeover of U.S. seeds company Monsanto Co, but imposed conditions to allow the two companies to combine operations.
Four of Cade's six commissioners voted in favor of the tie-up under the conditions proposed by Bayer and Monsanto, which includes the previously announced sale of several of Bayer's assets to BASF. Two voted against it.
Approval of the transaction in Brazil, a powerhouse producer of grains and other agricultural commodities, clears a crucial hurdle for the deal, which the companies initially had expected to have approved by the end of 2017.
The transaction, valued at $66 billion when announced in September 2016, would create the world's largest seeds and pesticides company.
The companies are waiting for approval of the deal in jurisdictions including the European Union and the United States, where final rulings are still pending.
Earlier this week Bayer said in a statement it had proposed solutions to allay EU antitrust authorites' concerns. As part of the proposal, Bayer agreed to sell seed and herbicide businesses to BASF for 5.9 billion euros ($7.24 billion).
Most of Cade's board said those measures would be enough to address antitrust concerns laid out by its technical staff in October, when it recommended the deal be blocked or approved with conditions.
Cade comissioner Cristiane Alkmin, however, dissented.
"Brazil cannot approve such a transaction while looking only at global concerns," she said. "Measures specifically targeting the Brazilian economy are necessary."
She argued that the resulting company should sell off other assets including Monsanto's RR2Pro Intacta transgenic seed business, as well as some fungicides businesses not included in Bayer's agreement with BASF. But a majority of the Cade board members did not agree with her, leading her to vote to block the deal. ($1 = 0.8153 euros) (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Leonardo Goy; Additional reporting by Ana Mano in São Paulo; Writing by Bruno Federowski and Ana Mano; Editing by Tom Brown)