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BASF monitoring agrochemical deals for potential opportunities

September 7, 2016
Chemical Value Chain

German chemicals group BASF SE is monitoring antitrust concerns over planned tie-ups in the global agrochemical industry for potential acquisitions, the head of the company’s crop protection business said Tuesday.

“We are looking at antitrust issues to see if we can help,” Markus Heldt, president of BASF’s agricultural division, said of ongoing mergers and acquisition plans in the sector. Competition authorities could require companies to sell some assets to win approval for their deals.

Mr. Heldt’s comments to reporters came shortly after German rival Bayer AG raised its offer to buy Monsanto Co. in a deal that could value the U.S. company at over $65 billion including debt.

That potential deal, which has been in the works since May, is the latest in a wave of consolidation in the industry amid a slide in global crop prices.

Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. last year announced a merger that the companies—together valued at roughly $103 billion—said would ultimately create one of the world’s largest agrochemical firms.

Earlier this year, Chinese state-owned China National Chemical Corp. announced a $43 billion cash deal to acquire Syngenta AG, after a failed attempt by Monsanto to buy the Swiss agrochemicals group.

BASF’s Mr. Heldt said that any acquisitions would have to make “strategic and financial sense” and fit into the company’s existing portfolio. He said BASF was also evaluating “bolt-on” acquisitions in the agrochemical sphere.

By Christopher Alessi

Source: Wall Street Journal

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