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BASF enters seed market with closing of Bayer assets acquisition

BASF has completed its acquisition of a range of businesses and assets from Bayer’s Crop Science division.

BASF has completed its acquisition of a range of businesses and assets from Bayer’s Crop Science division. The transaction marks BASF’s entry into seeds, non-selective herbicides and nematicidal seed treatments.

President of BASF’s agricultural solutions division Markus Heldt expects that the deal will help BASF bring enhanced competition. “With strong solutions from seeds to harvest, enabled by even better R&D capabilities and scale, we will increase the competition in the market.” The company’s chairman of the board of executive directors and chief technology officer Dr Martin Brudermüller emphasises the strategic move. “[It] adds excellent assets to our strong agricultural solutions portfolio and enhances our innovation potential.”

BASF signed deals in October 2017 and April 2018 to acquire Bayer assets Bayer for an all-cash purchase price of €7.6 billion ($8.9 billion at the current rate), subject to certain adjustments at closing.

In October 2017, Bayer agreed a deal for BASF to acquire its glufosinate-ammonium herbicide and selected seed businesses including genetically modified LibertyLink products for a combined €5.9 billion ($7 billion), while negotiating a licence to BASF for Bayer’s digital farming portfolio, Xarvio. In April, the parties agreed further transfers of Bayer businesses to BASF for up to €1.7 billion ($2.1 billion). The two transactions agreed encompassed businesses with combined 2017 sales of €2.2 billion ($2.6 billion).

The combined deals will see some 4,500 Bayer employees join BASF. The agreements cover: seeds businesses including traits, research and breeding capabilities, and trade marks for key row crops in select markets; Bayer’s vegetable seeds business; the R&D platform for hybrid wheat; a range of seed treatment products; certain glyphosate-based herbicides in Europe, used predominantly for industrial applications; the complete Xarvio digital farming platform; as well as certain non-selective herbicide and nematicide research projects. Only the vegetable seeds business transaction is yet to be completed, the closure of which is expected in the middle of this month. 

The acquisitions were part of regulatory authorities’ demands for Bayer divestments ahead of its takeover of Monsanto. The US Department of Justice’s approval of the Monsanto deal stipulated that the integration of Monsanto into Bayer could take place as soon as the divestments to BASF had been completed.


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