German chemicals firm Bayer signed an agreement on 26 April to divest up to €1.7bn (US$2bn) worth of crop science businesses to its compatriot BASF to ensure its planned merger with Monsanto.

The deal included Bayer’s global vegetable seeds business, certain seed treatment products, a research platform for wheat hybrids and certain glyphosate-based herbicides in Europe that were primarily used in industrial application, Bayer said in a statement.

Additionally, three research projects related to herbicides and Bayer’s digital farming business would be transferred to BASF.

From BASF, Bayer would receive a license for certain digital farming applications, the firm said.

Bayer said it would remain active in the divested business areas due to the products and programmes it was set to acquire from the Monsanto merger, which was expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

The Bayer-BASF deal is subject to regulatory approval and the successful close of the Monsanto merger.

In October 2017, Bayer and BASF already concluded an agreement for the sale of certain crop science businesses, including Bayer’s LiberyLink technology for herbicide resistance, for €5.9bn (US$7.1bn).

The Bayer-Monsanto merger has been approved by Brazil, China, the EU and Russia. Bayer had reportedly reached a preliminary understanding with the USA for approval as well.