Bayer-Monsanto: Life, LibertyLink, And The Pursuit Of Regulatory Approval

As the calendar officially turns to spring, life is in full renewal mode. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and new crops are headed into the ground.

Besides these sure signs of spring, numerous crop protection/seed suppliers are also speeding towards their mergers. According to most experts, the newly minted ChemChina/Syngenta and Dow/DuPont deals should be approved by the middle of this year. Likewise, say Bayer and Monsanto representatives, their companies union should be complete by year-end.

In anticipation for this eventually outcome, Bayer has reportedly began an asset sale of some of its seed lines. The company is also looking to sell its LibertyLink cropping system, which works with glufosinate. Although many companies were touting new dicamba-resistant crops at this winter’s trade shows, LibertyLink is an established name in the agricultural market, with approximately 15% of the 2017 soybean crop being planted by growers expected to be this variety.

Who you do believe will end up buying LibertyLink?

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Still, to obtain regulatory approval for the Monsanto merger, Bayer anticipates having to off-load at least one of its cropping systems. Given the choice between Roundup Ready and LibertyLink, the latter is apparently considered the logical option to move to another owner.

It will be interesting to see which agricultural company steps forward to obtain LibertyLink. Although many herbicides have seen numerous weeds develop resistance to their modes of the action over the years, glufosinate is currently not among them. This will give some company a valued alternative cropping system for those growers looking to fight back against herbicide-resistant weeds in their fields. As always, stay tuned to find out what happens next in this ongoing industry consolidation story . . .

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