RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – BASF, a German conglomerate with global reach in chemical, pharmaceutical and agricultural science, has closed its huge $9 billion purchase of businesses and assets from Bayer, moving four facilities and more than 360 former Bayer employees into the fold of BASF’s Research Triangle Park operations.

BASF said about 4,500 former Bayer employees join the company through the acquisition. BASF plans to add about 420 new employees to its current staff of about 1,000 in the RTP, most former Bayer employees but also about 35 new hires.

BASF photo

An aerial view of main BASF campus in RTP.

“As a key stakeholder in our ecosystem, we are pleased that the BASF acquisition of the world-class talent and facilities offered by Bayer strategically fits its long-term plans and grows its already significant footprint in North Carolina,” said Scott Johnson, vice president of agriculture sector development at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

The company says that it plans to continue Bayer’s more than $1.1 billion in annual R&D investments. Many of these investments will be made in the Triangle where the seeds and traits research will be conducted.
A BASF spokesperson said, “As part of our agreement with Bayer, we are committed to maintaining all permanent positions under similar conditions for at least three years after closing.”

The deal includes:

  • The former RTP Bayer Bee Center
  • The Paramount Parkway Innovation Center
  • Tech 3 building on Davis Drive
  • Bayer’s seeds business, including traits, research and breeding capabilities, and seed treatments
  • Bayer’s research and development platform for hybrid wheat
  • Bayer’s herbicide glufosinate-ammonium business and herbicide research projects
  • Bayer’s complete digital farming platform (xarvio)

BASF said it has renamed its crop protection division “agricultural solutions,” and established a new global business unit for seeds and traits.

“With strong solutions from seeds to harvest, enabled by even better R&D capabilities and scale, we will increase the competition in the market. This means customers have a real choice, today and in the future,” explained Markus Heldt, president of the BASF agricultural solutions business, in a statement.

Bayer has previously said that divesting these assets to BASF, as part of its agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to acquire Monsanto, would result in moving its 1,000-employee RTP operations to Monsanto’s St. Louis headquarters.

“Innovation in agriculture today requires strong foundations in physical, biological, and analytical science,” added NCBiotech’s Johnson. “BASF is clearly making a long-term strategic commitment to maintaining its leadership in high-tech agriculture through the acquisition of these assets.

“Complementing the BASF leadership in chemistry with the acquisition of world-class facilities with the existing talent in trait and seed solutions, gives the company a significant boost in its ability to provide twenty-first-century solutions to American farmers.”

(C) N.C. Biotech Center