BASF to acquire parts of Bayer's crop science ops for €5.9bn


Bayer has pushed back the expected completion date of the Monsanto takeover from later this year to early 2018

BASF SE (BAS.XE) said on Friday that it has signed an agreement to buy significant parts of Bayer AG's (BAYN.XE) seed and non-selective herbicide businesses for 5.9 billion euros ($6.99 billion), subject to certain adjustments at closing.

The assets to be acquired include Bayer herbicides marketed under the Liberty, Basta and Finale brands, and seed businesses in select markets, including canola hybrids in North America, oilseed rape mainly in Europe, cotton in the Americas and Europe as well as soybean in the Americas, Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF said in a statement Friday.

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BASF said the businesses to be purchased from Bayer generated sales of €1.3bn in 2016, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around €385m.

The EU has opened an in-depth investigation into Bayer's proposed $66bn (£50bn) takeover of USA seeds group Monsanto over competition concerns. The companies expect it to close in the first quarter of 2018.

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"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".

The deal is contingent upon the completion of Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto, but the takeover still faces scrutiny from European regulators. More than 1,800 Bayer personnel will transfer to BASF.

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In a separate statement, Bayer said it will use net proceeds from the divestment "to partially refinance the planned acquisition of Monsanto".

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