EU Commission approves sale of Bayer’s crop-science business to BASF

30 April 2018 16:07 Source:ICIS News

Agricultural fields in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Commission approved on Monday the acquisition of parts of Bayer’s crop-science business by fellow German chemical major BASF.

Bayer had agreed on 26 April to sell further pieces of its crop-science business to the tune of €1.7bn, with BASF having already agreed to acquire a €5.9bn remedy package of crop science business in October last year.

“Since BASF does not currently sell seeds or non-selective herbicides and has only recently started to develop a limited offering in digital agriculture, the Commission did not identify competition concerns with most parts of the transaction,” the EU's executive body said on Monday.

However, the Commission said that it had concerns about reduced innovation competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) for the development of certain non-selective herbicides, while it was also concerned about potential competition for the production of nematicidal seed treatments.

As a result, BASF has committed to divesting one of its overlapping lines of research for the development of non-selective herbicides and a pipeline nematicidal seed treatment product with branded name Trunemco.

The 28-country bloc's executive body added that it is still assessing whether BASF has the ability and incentives to run and develop the acquired businesses in order to replicate Bayer as an active competitor in the market, and whether the agreements between Bayer and BASF are in line with the commitments.

“The decision adopted today does not prejudge the outcome of that separate assessment," it concluded.

Pictured: Agricultural fields in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Source: Hans Blossey/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

By Niall Swan