Bayer sells crop science units to ease Monsanto takeover

BASF the world's biggest chemicals company based in eastern Germany makes a bid to enter the genetically-modified seeds market. Patrick Pleul  AFP

BASF the world's biggest chemicals company based in eastern Germany makes a bid to enter the genetically-modified seeds market. Patrick Pleul AFP

Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) agrees to sell significant parts of its crop science business to rival BASF (OTCQX:BASFY) for €5.9B ($6.98B), which it says will partially finance its planned acquisition of Monsanto (NYSE:MON).

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and the successful closing of Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto.

Assets to be sold include essentially all of the company's field crop seeds businesses and its glufosinate-ammonium business and related herbicide technology LibertyLink, Bayer said.

Under the deal, BASF will acquire Bayer's manufacturing sites for glufosinate-ammonium production and formulation in Germany, the USA and Canada, its seed-breeding facilities in the Americas and Europe and its trait-research facilities in the Americas and Europe.

More than 1,800 commercial, R&D, breeding and production personnel are expected to be transferred from Bayer to BASF.

"Furthermore, BASF will acquire the manufacturing sites for glufosinate-ammonium production and formulation in Germany, the U.S., and Canada, seed breeding facilities in the Americas and Europe as well as trait research facilities in the United States and Europe", it added.

The businesses had 2016 sales of about 1.3 billion euros and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of about 385 million euros.

"The acquisition complements BASF's crop protection business, strengthening the company's herbicide portfolio and marking its entry into the seed business with proprietary assets in key agricultural markets", it added.

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