German chemicals and pharmaceuticals firm Bayer will sell parts of its seeds and herbicides business to BASF for €5.9bn (£5.2bn) as it pares down assets ahead of its takeover of Monsanto.
The businesses had 2016 sales of about 1.3 billion euros and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of about 385 million euros.
Bayer says the assets to be sold include its global glufosinate-ammonium business and related LibertyLink technology for herbicide tolerance, almost all its field-crop seeds businesses, as well as respective R&D capabilities.
The European Commission said earlier this month it would put on hold its competition probe of Bayer's $66-billion mega-deal - the largest in German history - to take over controversial United States seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto.
"At the same time, we are pleased that, in BASF, we have found a strong buyer for our businesses that will continue to serve the needs of growers and offer our employees long-term prospects".
The said transaction is subject to the closing of Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto and approval by relevant authorities. The companies expect it to close in the first quarter of 2018.
More than 1,800 commercial, R&D, breeding and production personnel are expected to be transferred from Bayer to BASF.
"We are taking an active approach to address potential regulatory concerns, with the goal of facilitating a successful close of the Monsanto transaction", Bayer Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann said in a separate statement.