BASF India up 3.5% after BASF SE signs agreement with Bayer

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

Bayer, the Leverkusen-based multinational that specializes in pharmaceuticals and chemicals, recently agreed a €56 billion takeover of U.S. seeds company Monsanto and the deal with BASF is part of their plan to divest themselves of assets in order to fund the Monsanto deal and improve their chances of gaining regulatory approval. The acquisition complements BASF's crop protection business, strengthens its herbicide portfolio and marks its entry into the seed business with proprietary assets in key agricultural markets.

German pharmaceutical company Bayer said that the assets to be sold include its global glufosinate-ammonium business and related LibertyLink technology for herbicide tolerance, nearly all its field-crop seeds businesses, as well as respective research-and-development capabilities. (MON), adding that it will use the net proceeds from the BASF transaction to partially refinance the purchase of the US agricultural company.

More than 1,800 commercial, R&D, breeding and production personnel are expected to be transferred from Bayer to BASF. "The industry business model is shifting toward chemical and seeds business being sold together".

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. Bayer said that it agreed to the deal in light of its planned acquisition of Monsanto Co.

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Environmentalists and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic fear that the deal, which would create a global seeds and pesticides behemoth with annual revenues of around 23 billion euros and 140,000 employees, would give the combined firm too much power over the food chain.

"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".

Bayer still hopes to close its Monsanto merger "by early 2018", although the Commission said in August that the deadline for a decision would be pushed back from the previous date of January 22 next year.

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