Bayer AG, a German multinational chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences company, has announced it will divest its Liberty crop protection brands globally to receive approval from South Africa for its merger with Monsanto.

Included in the divestments were the Liberty herbicide and Liberty Link-branded seeds businesses, Reuters reported on 8 May.

“Bayer has agreed to these conditions and is evaluating how best to execute the imposed divestiture,” the company said in a statement.

The Competition Commission of South Africa said it was concerned that the merger of Bayer and Monsanto would eliminate competition in crop protection, as the companies would form a monopoly, the commission said in a 7 May statement.

According to Reuters, this marked the first time Bayer had acknowledged it had to sell the Liberty brands that compete with Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller and Roundup Ready seeds, which include corn, soyabean, canola, cotton, sugarbeet and alfalfa seeds engineered to be resistant to glyphosate herbicide.

Similar divestitures were expected to be imposed by other jurisdictions from whom Bayer was still awaiting an answer, such as the USA and the EU.

Bayer and Monsanto began the process of selling US$2.5bn worth of assets in March 2017 in order to seek regulatory clearance for their US$66bn merger, Reuters wrote.