German pesticide giant Bayer is reportedly preparing to auction off $2.5 billion worth of agri assets ahead of its $66 billion merger with US seed company Monsanto.
Bayer is sending information packages this week to prospective bidders, including large private equity groups, for assets tied to soybean, cotton and canola seed businesses, as well as Bayer’s LibertyLink crops, Reuters first reported last week.
Bayer and Monsanto did not respond to requests from Agri Investor for comment.
The PE community has been closely monitoring major consolidation among agri industry giants, including additional pending mergers between DuPont and Dow Chemical, and ChemChina and Syngenta.
At the October Agri Investor conference in Chicago, panelists noted that investment opportunities would result as these merged companies sell off redundant businesses.
“Some of these secondary and tertiary businesses will be sold off initially and that could be very attractive for private equity,” said Mitchell Presser, partner with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, at the time.
The LibertyLink system couples genetically modified crops with herbicide to deliver higher canola, corn, cotton and soybean yields. Enabled on more than 60 million acres of crops, LibertyLink competes directly with Monsanto products, including the Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans.