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BASF (BAS)
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Bayer offers vegetable seeds disposal to clinch Monsanto deal - sources

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02/08/2018 | 05:48pm CET
The logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the Bayer Healthcare subgroup production plant in Wuppertal

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer (>> Bayer) plans to sell its global vegetable seeds business and allow BASF (>> BASF) exclusive access to its digital farming data in an effort to address EU antitrust concerns over its $63.5 billion (45.20 billion pounds) purchase of Monsanto (>> Monsanto), three people close to the matter said on Thursday.

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer (>> Bayer) plans to sell its global vegetable seeds business and allow BASF (>> BASF) exclusive access to its digital farming data in an effort to address EU antitrust concerns over its $63.5 billion (45.20 billion pounds) purchase of Monsanto (>> Monsanto), three people close to the matter said on Thursday.

The German drug and crop chemicals maker submitted its offer last week after the European Commission said the deal could reduce competition in pesticides, seeds and plant traits such as herbicide tolerance and insect resistance.

Bayer clinched a deal in October last year to sell its seed and herbicide businesses to BASF for 5.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion).

Bayer's vegetable seeds business, which operates under the brand Nunhems, has more than 1,200 seed varieties in 25 vegetables crops.

The company has offered to divest the vegetable seeds business as a unit including its intellectual property rights, locations and production sites to a new entrant in a move that rules out bids from private equity firms, the sources said.

The business operates under the brand Nunhems and has more than 1,200 seed varieties in 25 vegetables crops.

To assuage regulatory concerns about its collection of data and information about farms known as digital agriculture, Bayer will also give BASF an exclusive licence to its digital farming platform, the sources said.

The European Commission, Bayer and BASF declined to comment.

Another source said that rival agribusiness Syngenta <SYENF.PK> is very interested in the vegetable seeds operation but that there are also other interested parties. The Swiss-based company declined to comment.

The EU competition authority has given rivals and customers until Friday to provide feedback on Bayer's proposed concessions. It is possible that some could ask for more time.

The Commission, which is scheduled to decide by April 5, can either accept the concessions, demand more or veto the deal.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt and Oliver Hirt in Zurich; Editing by David Goodman and Elaine Hardcastle)

By Foo Yun Chee and Patricia Weiss

Stocks treated in this article : Monsanto, Bayer, BASF
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Financials (€)
Sales 2017 64 064 M
EBIT 2017 8 179 M
Net income 2017 5 695 M
Debt 2017 13 062 M
Yield 2017 3,71%
P/E ratio 2017 13,89
P/E ratio 2018 14,17
EV / Sales 2017 1,45x
EV / Sales 2018 1,43x
Capitalization 79 669 M
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Number of Analysts 27
Average target price 101 €
Spread / Average Target 17%
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Kurt W. Bock Chairman-Executive Board
Jürgen Hambrecht Chairman-Supervisory Board
Hans-Ulrich Engel Chief Financial Officer
Martin Brudermüller Chief Technology Officer
Michael Diekmann Vice Chairman-Supervisory Board
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