Bayer signs C$8.7 billion deal to sell LibertyLink and seed businesses to BASF


Bayer has signed an agreement to divest some of its crop business to BASF for €5.9 billion (approximately C$8.7 billion) to gain regulatory approval for Bayer’s planned acquisition of Monsanto.

The transaction with BASF includes Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium business and the related LibertyLink herbicide tolerance technology. BASF is also marking its entry into the seed business by acquiring Bayer’s North American and European canola and soybean seed businesses, and its global cotton seed business (excluding India and South Africa.)

The deal also includes all the relevant intellectual property and facilities, as well as more than 1,800 employees. BASF has committed to maintain all permanent positions, under similar conditions, for at least three years after the deal closes.

“We are taking an active approach to address potential regulatory concerns, with the goal of facilitating a successful close of the Monsanto transaction,” said Bayer chair Werner Baumann in a statement early Friday. “At the same time, we are pleased that, in BASF, we have found a strong buyer for our businesses that will continue to serve the needs of growers and offer our employees long-term prospects.”

What BASF is acquiring from Bayer:

  • Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium non-selective herbicide business, commercialized under the Liberty, Basta and Finale brands
  • Bayer’s following seed businesses, including trait research, breeding capabilities and the LibertyLink trait and trademark:
    • 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
    • soybean in the Americas.

Dr. Kurt Bock, chair of BASF’s board of directors.

The transaction, which BASF says is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, is subject to regulatory approvals as well as the successful closing of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto. Bayer will continue to own, operate and maintain these businesses in the meantime.

“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,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, chairman of BASF’s board.

“These are good and attractive market positions, especially with regard to canola,” said Bock on a conference call with investors and media.

More to come.

Related: LibertyLink is up for sale — who will buy it?

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