Bayer to Focus Entirely on Life Sciences
Bayer AG, Leverkusen, Germany, intends in the future to focus entirely on the Life Science businesses – HealthCare and CropScience – and float MaterialScience on the stock market as a separate company. In this way Bayer is aiming to position itself as a world-leading company in the field of human, animal and plant health. The Supervisory Board unanimously approved the Board of Management's plans on last Thursday. “Our intention is to create two top global corporations: Bayer as a world-class innovation company in the Life Science businesses, and MaterialScience as a leading player in polymers,” Bayer CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers announced. He said both companies have excellent prospects for success in their respective industries. Employment levels are expected to remain stable over the next few years, both globally and in Germany.
In recent years, Bayer's center of gravity has greatly shifted toward its Life Science activities with the successful launch of novel pharmaceutical products, the pending acquisition of the over-the-counter products business of Merck & Co., Inc., United States, and the very successful development of the CropScience business. The Life Sciences currently already account for about 70 % of Bayer's sales and 88 % of EBITDA before special items.
It is planned to float the MaterialScience business on the stock market as a separate company within the next 12 to 18 months. A major reason for this move is to give MaterialScience direct access to capital for its future development. This access can no longer be adequately ensured within the Bayer Group due to the substantial investment needs of the Life Science businesses for both organic and external growth. Also, as a separate company, MaterialScience can align its organizational and process structures and corporate culture entirely toward its own industrial environment and business model.
“We firmly believe that MaterialScience will use its separate status to deploy its existing strength even more rapidly, effectively and flexibly in the global competitive arena,” Dekkers commented. A strategy and corporate culture aligned to technological and cost leadership, coupled with the ability to make its own investment and portfolio decisions, would give MaterialScience the best development prospects in a highly competitive market. That, said Dekkers, includes direct capital market access so that it would not have to compete with the Life Science businesses for investment funding in the future.
"MaterialScience is a very well positioned business that today operates very modern, competitive, large-scale facilities. We have steadily invested in these facilities, even in difficult economic times,” Dekkers pointed out, citing the world-scale production facilities in Shanghai, China, and the new TDI plant in Dormagen, Germany, which is to be officially inaugurated in December. Between 2009 and 2013 alone, Bayer invested a total of over EUR 3.8 billion in property, plant and equipment and research and development for the MaterialScience business.
Following the intended flotation, MaterialScience will be Europe's fourth-largest chemical company; it had global sales in 2013 of more than EUR 11 billion (pro forma figure). The new company is planned to have a global workforce of roughly 16,800, including about 6,500 in Germany. It will have a new name and a separate identity and be headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany.
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