€5.9bn sale will help satisfy competition regulators’ worries over Bayer–Monsanto merger

Chemicals giant BASF has agreed to buy a significant chunk of Bayer’s seeds and crop protection businesses, as Bayer looks to assuage regulators’ concerns over market dominance and reduction in choice when it merges with Monsanto.

The €5.9 billion (£5.2 billion) cash deal covers Bayer’s non-selective herbicide glufosinate – the main competitor to Monsanto’s glyphosate (Roundup) – as well as seeds for cotton, soybeans and oilseed rape. It also covers Bayer’s breeding and agricultural biotechnology programmes for these crops, including traits that grant resistance to glufosinate.

BASF will take on around 1800 Bayer staff across commercial, R&D, breeding and production operations, as well as manufacturing, seed breeding and trait research facilities across the US, Germany, Brazil, Canada and Belgium.