Bayer Animal Health Could Fetch €8 Billion
The race to acquire Bayer’s animal health business appears to be heating up. According to the Bloomberg news agency, quoting sources, the German group stands to take in as much as €8 billion from the sale of business with annual revenue of around €1.5 billion.
If Bloomberg’s sources are correct, proceeds from the sale could considerably exceed the €6.5-7.5 billion projected by analysts at the time the sale plans were announced. In addition to pharmaceutical companies, the news agency said private equity investors, including KKR, Blackstone and Permira, are interested in buying the business.
Bayer is selling Animal Health in the main to pay back loans taken out last year to finance its €55 billion acquisition of Monsanto. Also up for sale are parts of the Consumer Health business it bought from Merck of the US In 2014 for $14.2 billion (€12.5 billion), as well as its 60% share in Leverkusen chemical park operator Currenta.
The group’s financing needs are also being enhanced by the reserves it is setting aside to pay legal fees in connection with the Monsanto glyphosate lawsuits it has inherited.
Late last year, speculation focused on Reckitt Benckiser and Procter & Gamble as interested buyers for Bayer’s consumer health activities, which analysts then estimated could fetch around €800 million.
Australian infrastructure company Macquarie is now believed to be the front-runner to acquire the Currenta stake. The Reuters news agency quotes sources as saying the talks will likely continue for a few more weeks but, given the complexity of the negotiation, the deal could still fall apart.
Bayer is also is concurrently shedding 10% of its workforce (around 12,000 jobs) as part of a major overhaul of its global organizational structure up to 2022.