Issue Date: May 15, 2017
Bayer to divest Liberty Link
Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto has received conditional approval from antitrust regulators in South Africa, the first country to rule on the merger. The country is requiring Bayer to divest its Liberty Link brand glufosinate herbicide along with its crop traits for glufosinate tolerance. Bayer acquiesced to the divestment but has not announced a buyer. The requirement is not surprising because Bayer and Monsanto sell the two most common herbicide and tolerance trait combinations. Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide Roundup and its Roundup Ready crop traits are the world’s leading weed killer and trait combo. South Africa is requiring the buyer of Liberty Link to operate in the country to ensure farmers have access to both technologies. Competition in crop protection products has been a focus of regulators as large agriculture firms consolidate. Last month, DuPont sold much of its crop chemicals business to FMC to gain European approval for its merger with Dow Chemical.
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