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Bayer sells pest control unit for USD2.6B

BERLIN (AFP) – German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said yesterday it has agreed to sell its pest control unit to British private equity firm Cinven for USD2.6 billion.

Bayer had announced last year of its intention to offload its United States (US)-based unit, Environmental Science Professional (ESP).

“This divestment represents a very attractive purchase price and allows us to focus on our core agricultural business,” said Head of Bayer’s Crop Science division Rodrigo Santos.

ESP offers solutions to control pests, diseases and weeds in non-agricultural areas, including professional pest management, forestry and gardens. The subsidiary has 800 employees and operates in more than 100 countries, with EUR600 million in turnover.

Bayer said it expects the transaction to be completed in the second half of this year, with proceeds to be used to reduce the group’s net financial debt.

Bayer’s debt has grown in recent years as it has been plagued by legal woes since it bought Monsanto in 2018.

It has faced a flood of cases in US courts by cancer patients who said the glyphosate chemical in the Roundup weedkiller caused them to fall ill.

Bayer rejects the accusations.

The Bayer logo at the group’s plant in Wuppertal, Germany. PHOTO: AFP

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