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BASF in talks to buy Bayer vegetable seeds arm

Bayer aiming to get EU approval for Monsanto takeover

Bayer has entered “exclusive talks” toward a deal to sell its global Nunhems vegetable seeds business to German chemical firm BASF, to help clear the aisle for a Bayer/Monsanto marriage.

Nunhems, which has a portfolio of about 1,200 seed varieties in over two dozen different vegetable crops worldwide, sells seeds in North America for tomatoes, spinach, peppers, carrots, onions, cucumbers, lettuce, leeks and melons.

“Through this and related moves, Bayer is confident of fully addressing all concerns of the European Commission” and its regulators on Bayer’s proposed C$80 billion merger with chemical and seed firm Monsanto, the company said last Wednesday in a release.

BASF has already done a 5.9 billion-euro (C$9.35 billion) deal with Bayer for a number of Bayer’s Crop Science businesses, including its worldwide glufosinate-ammonium business and related LibertyLink technology, “essentially all” Bayer’s field crop seed businesses and related research and development capacity.

The seed businesses for sale in that deal — which is conditional on Bayer closing its deal to buy Monsanto — include Bayer’s canola and oilseed rape businesses in North America and Europe, among others.

The European Commission, Bayer noted, recently extended the examination deadline for the Bayer/Monsanto deal until April 5.

Bayer said it’s still “working closely with the authorities worldwide” to close its Monsanto deal in its second quarter of 2018. — Network