With acquisition of Bayer assets, BASF gets Liberty Link and hybrid wheat

After months of anticipation, the acquisition by BASF of several business units and assets from Bayer is complete. 

The roughly $9 billion deal closed Aug. 1, with BASF getting several important crop protection production systems, including the license of Liberty Link technology and affiliated glufosinate-ammonium (Liberty Link technology) from Bayer, plus the company’s hybrid wheat business, canola seed business and a host of research and development capabilities.  Also in the deal is Bayer’s digital farming platform, called xarvio, plus certain non-selective herbicide and nematicide research projects. as closed the acquisition of a range of businesses and assets from Bayer. 

In a conference call to reporters, Paul Rea, BASF Senior Vice President, North America Agricultural Solutions, said the acquisition is bigger than what was originally intended. The company will grow by 4,600 employees and gives BASF an annual research and development budget of $1 billion. “It clearly demonstrates our commitment to invest in agriculture in the long-term,” Rea said. 

BASF signed agreements in October 2017 and April 2018 to acquire the businesses and assets Bayer offered to divest in the context of its acquisition of Monsanto, for an all-cash purchase. The transactions, which include the items listed above but add Bayer’s seeds businesses including traits, research and breeding capabilities, and trademarks for key row crops in select markets; the vegetable seeds business; a range of seed treatment products; certain glyphosate-based herbicides in Europe, used predominantly for industrial applications; as well as certain non-selective herbicide and nematicide research projects. The vegetable seeds business is expected to close in mid-August 2018.

Scott Kay, BASF Vice President of U.S. Agricultural Solutions, said the company’s goal is to be the number one crop solution provider in the U.S., by strengthening its crop protection portfolio, offering seed treatment and trait products and adding digital tools. “By adding glufosinate to our broad portfolio of herbicides, we can also provide farmers with complementary crop protection products and are able to better develop new formulations and mixtures for better resistant management,” he said.  

Kay added that growers clearly need new choices to control resistant weeds. By having glufosinate (Liberty) and Engenia (dicamba) tolerant soybeans, farmers have choices in weed control.