Anti-trust concerns are driving the decision to divest vegetable seed properties, Baumann said. Nunhems, Bayer’s vegetable seed division, sells about 1,200 varieties among its 25 vegetable crops. Monsanto also has a robust vegetable seed business with Seminis.
The acquisition, which was announced in mid 2017, must thread the needle of international anti-trust laws. When the Monsanto purchase was first announced, Bayer hoped it would be completed in early 2018 at the latest.
“Our goal now is to be able to close the transaction in the second quarter of 2018,” Baumann said.
Baumann did not mention who may buy Nunhems. He also explained that other properties my be sold, both from within Bayer as well as Monsanto. He did not, however, indicated that any of those additional business would involve the vegetable industry.