Bayer Divests More of Covestro
As it works toward unloading all of its shareholding in its former plastics subsidiary Covestro – the former Bayer MaterialScience – the Bayer group said it has begun an accelerated bookbuilding process for another sale of shares to institutional investors.
The share placement was launched on Jan. 10 after the stock market closed. Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs International acted as joint book-runners. As part of the placement, Bayer has agreed to a 90-day lock-up period.
The former German chemicals and plastics giant, which now focuses on life sciences, needs to raise funds for its planned dollar-denominated $66 billion takeover of US agrochemicals producer Monsanto, still stuck in the regulatory process. For the latest share sale it has targeted a transaction volume of about €1.5 billion.
Bayer still holds 24.6% of Covestro, and the group’s Bayer Pension Trust holds a further 8.9%. In four previous placements, the former parent company has raised altogether €4.7 billion. In the latest round, some 18 million shares were to be placed at €86.25-88.46 each, one of the book-runners told the news agency Reuters.
According to a Reuters calculation, based on Covestro’s current market value the current share sale could amount to as much as 8.9%, which would reduce Bayer’s direct to under 16% – excluding the pension fund’s stake