The sale is part of Bayer’s plan to divest from non-strategic ventures, after its purchase of US firm Monsanto. Bayer has been dogged by a wave of lawsuits after the merger, which has sent its shares tumbling.
German companies Bayer and Lanxess announced on Tuesday that they will sell their stakes of chemicals firm Currenta, which they jointly own, to an Australian firm for €3.5 billion ($3.92 billion).
Currenta has chemical plants in Germany at Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen, all situated in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The chemical company will now be owned by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), a subsidiary of Australia’s Macquarie investment bank.
Life sciences giant Bayer held a 60% stake Currenta, while its former subsidiary Lanxess held 40%. The deal with Bayer is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, while Lanxess would divest by the end of April 2020.
Sale follows Monsanto purchase
The move comes as Bayer has faced enormous pressure from a wave of cancer lawsuits against its recently acquired subsidiary Monsanto, relating to its flagship Roundup weed killer, which contains the herbicide glyphosate.
Following its purchase of Monsanto, Bayer announced last year that it was considering divesting from non-strategic activities.
Currenta’s future owner MIRA told Reuters that the company was committed to keeping Currenta in its current structure and would not sell parts over the next three years.
“We are convinced of the benefits of the integrated business model of the Currenta group,” MIRA’s German business head Hilko Schomerus said.
jcg/se (AFP, Reuters, dpa)