BASF has signed an agreement to acquire significant parts of Bayer’s seed and non-selective herbicide businesses.
Bayer intends to divest these assets in the context of its planned acquisition of Monsanto. The all-cash purchase price is €5.9bn (£5.24bn), subject to certain adjustments at closing.
The assets to be acquired include Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium non-selective herbicide business, commercialised under the Liberty, Basta and Finale brands, as well as its seed businesses for key row crops in select markets: canola hybrids in North America under the InVigor brand using the LibertyLink trait technology, oilseed rape mainly in European markets, cotton in the Americas and Europe as well as soybean in the Americas.
The transaction also includes Bayer’s trait research and breeding capabilities for these crops and the LibertyLink trait and trademark.
For the full year 2016, sales of the business to be purchased from Bayer amounted to around €1.3bn (£1.15bn). The transaction is subject to the closing of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto and approval by relevant authorities. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
Dr Kurt Bock, chairman of the board of executive directors of BASF SE, said: “With this investment, we are seizing the opportunity to acquire highly attractive assets in key row crops and markets. It will be a strategic complement to BASF’s well-established and successful crop protection business as well as to our own activities in biotechnology.
“The acquisition will further enhance our agricultural solutions offer, which is a core pillar of BASF’s portfolio.”
BASF said the acquisition complements its crop protection business, strengthening its herbicide portfolio and marking its entry into the seed business with proprietary assets in key agricultural markets.
Saori Dubourg, member of the board of executive directors of BASF SE and responsible for the Agricultural Solutions segment said: “Building on the competent new team members and the enhanced portfolio, we will offer farmers a greater choice of solutions addressing their needs for high-quality seeds, chemical and biological crop protection.
“Moreover, this transaction will create new opportunities for future growth and strengthen our global innovation potential.”
More than 1,800 commercial, R&D, breeding and production personnel will transfer from Bayer to BASF. These employees are primarily located in the US, Germany, Brazil, Canada and Belgium.
BASF will acquire the manufacturing sites for glufosinate-ammonium production and formulation in Germany, the US and Canada, seed breeding facilities in the Americas and Europe as well as trait research facilities in the US and Europe.
Markus Heldt, president of BASF’s Crop Protection division said: “We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to BASF. As highly experienced, dedicated and motivated professionals they will enrich our team with their expert knowledge in crop protection, seeds and traits. Together, we will shape the long-term success of BASF, serving the needs of farmers around the globe.”