BASF closes deal for LibertyLink canola and other assets from Bayer

BASF employees can officially get to work on the company’s newly-acquired business from Bayer.

The company announced Wednesday that it has closed its acquisition of assets from Bayer, which competition regulators required Bayer sell to gain approval of its purchase of Monsanto that closed in early July.

The 7.6 billion euro (C$11.5 billion at today’s exchange rate) transaction, which includes the LibertyLink canola and soybean seed portfolios and Bayer’s digital farming platform, marks BASF’s formal entry into the market for seed, non-selective herbicides, and nematicide seed treatments.

Around 4,500 employees are also making the transition from Bayer to BASF. Last fall, BASF said the deal would involve around 700 Bayer employees in North America, including around 300 people in Canada, as well as facilities in Regina, Lethbridge and Saskatoon, and 10 research and development sites in Canada with regional seed production and breeding facilities.

“This acquisition transforms BASF in agriculture. It strengthens our market position in agricultural solutions and creates new opportunities for growth,” notes Saori Dubourg, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE responsible for the Agricultural Solutions segment. “We are looking forward to our joint journey and warmly welcome the new colleagues to BASF.”

What does BASF’s acquisition of Liberty and InVigor business mean for Canada?

To reflect the expanded offering, BASF has renamed the division from Crop Protection to Agricultural Solutions, and created a new global business unit within the division for seeds and traits.

BASF is receiving the following assets from Bayer:

  • Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium (Liberty herbicide) business;
  • North American and European canola and soybean seed businesses, and Bayer’s global cotton seed business, including traits, research and breeding capabilities, and trademarks;
  • the Xarvio digital farming platform;
  • Bayer’s R&D platform for hybrid wheat;
  • a range of seed treatment products;
  • some non-selective herbicide and nematicide research projects.

Bayer’s vegetable seed business is also moving to BASF, but the company says that transaction is expected to close in mid-August.

Canada’s Competition Bureau approved BASF’s purchase of Bayer’s LibertyLink canola system in June on the condition that BASF sell its own Clearfield production system for canola. The Competition Bureau has given BASF a confidential period of time to identify a proposed purchaser, but there’s been no public announcement regarding the Clearfield divestiture to date.

 

 

Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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