(Adds details about divestment, outlook)
March 6 (Reuters) - Australia’s Nufarm Ltd said on Friday a Brazilian competition regulator has cleared the sale of its South American crop protection and seed treatment assets as it looks to pay down debt amid a severe domestic drought.
In September last year, Nufarm said it would sell Nufarm Brazil to its biggest shareholder, Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd, for about $805 million.
Nufarm said it expects to report interest costs for continuing and discontinued businesses of about A$90 million to A$100 million ($59.52 million to $66.13 million) for fiscal 2020, assuming that the completion of the sale occurs by April 1.
A severe drought in Australia has threatened grain production across the country’s east coast and Nufarm has also taken a hit from flooding in parts of the United States, where it operates several plants.
The sale of assets will allow Nufarm to focus on high-margin crop protection markets in Europe and across North America.
The company reaffirmed its core earnings first half outlook in the range of A$55 million to A$65 million.
$1 = 1.5122 Australian dollars Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Shailesh Kuber