German chemicals company BASF began exclusive talks on 12 March to buy Bayer AG’s entire vegetable seeds business, ahead of Bayer’s planned US$62.5bn acquisition of Monsanto.

Bayer intended to divest its vegetable seed unit, operating under the Nunhems trademark, to secure approval for the Monsanto merger, a BASF statement read.

The deal follows on from a 13 October agreement in which BASF agreed to buy significant parts of Bayer’s seed and non-selective herbicide businesses for €5.9bn (US$7.2bn) including Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium herbicides, and major seeds platforms such as the Invigor branded canola hybrids with the LibertyLink trait technology in North America, rapeseed mainly in EU markets, and soyabean and cotton in the Americas. The deal also included Bayer‘s trait research and breeding capabilities for these listed crops and the Liberty Link trait and trademark.

BASF said its latest acquisition would enhance its future seed platform and the market position of its agricultural solutions business.