German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer announced a multi-billion-euro deal Friday to sell parts of its agrichemical business to its rival Baden Aniline and Soda Factory (BASF), easing the path of its planned takeover of the U.S. seed maker, Monsanto.
The 5.9-billion-euro ($7-billion) deal includes Bayer's glufosinate ammonium herbicide business, "essentially all" of its crop seeds units, related research and development (R&D) activities, and intellectual property, the company said in a statement. Transaction will only go ahead if Bayer's Monsanto merger is approved by the competition authorities and is itself subject to a competition probe.
"We are taking an active approach to address potential regulatory concerns with the goal of facilitating a successful close of the Monsanto transaction," Chief Executive Werner Baumann said. The European Commission (EC) said earlier this month it would put on hold its competition probe of Bayer's $66-billion mega-deal - the largest in German history - to take over the controversial U.S. seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto.