BASF still out for ag chem deals

Frankfurt | Reuters –– German chemicals giant BASF said it would continue to push for acquisitions to shore up its crop protection business, after the antitrust-related sale of assets from the merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont left it empty-handed.

“We are generally interested in strengthening our business further, acquisitions are part of that, that is very much part of our thinking. But it takes two to tango,” CEO Kurt Bock told journalists on a call after the release of quarterly results on Thursday.

He added deals were even more difficult when a third party in the form of an antitrust regulator posed additional hurdles.

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With rivals including Monsanto and Bayer joining forces all around, BASF has been eyeing a surprise foray into generic pesticides and cast an eye on U.S. pesticides peer FMC Corp., sources told Reuters on March 22.

FMC in late March snatched up crop protection businesses put up for sale by DuPont to win European Union approval for its merger with Dow Chemical. These assets had been regarded by analysts as a good fit for BASF.

— Reporting for Reuters by Ludwig Burger.

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