Bayer to sell digital farming business to BASF

Bayer plans to sell its digital farming business to BASF as part of changes to concessions it has offered to win over antitrust regulators for its proposed takeover of Monsanto, according to a Reuters’ report.
Digital farming, which combines sensors, software and precision machines, is still in its infancy but all big players in the seeds and pesticides industry are developing digital offerings. Bayer had previously agreed to grant a license to competitors, but as part of the changes agreed with the European Commission it will now only retain a license to certain digital farming applications.  Bayer has confirmed that BASF is the intended purchaser of the assets being sold.

The German company has already also pledged to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for 5.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion) to BASF, as well as its vegetable seeds business.

The changes do not affect Monsanto’s digital farming offering, which Bayer will keep after the deal.

In a separate statement, the European Commission said it had approved Bayer’ modifications to the commitments it made to get approval for the Monsanto purchase.

Bayer reiterated on Wednesday that it would seek to complete the mega-deal in the second quarter.