Aventis and Schering AG have signed an agreement with Bayer AG on the acquisition of Aventis CropScience. Aventis holds a 76% interest in this business, while Schering AG, Berlin, holds 24%.
Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to the approval of the relevant authorities, the enterprise value of Aventis CropScience will be set at around €7.25 billion including debt. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2002.
"The combined business of Aventis CropScience and Bayer will become one of the leaders in the agricultural industry." said Horst Waesche, member of the management board of Aventis. "We are convinced that strategically, Bayer will be the best fit for Aventis CropScience."
In November 2000, Aventis announced its intention to divest Aventis CropScience by the end of 2001 in order to focus on its pharmaceutical business. After reviewing different divestment options, Aventis has continued exclusive negotiations with Bayer since mid July 2001. For Aventis, the expected decrease in net debt - though the proceeds from the divestment as well as deconsolidation of debt associated with CropScience - would mean additional flexibility for the future development of it's pharmaceutical business.
Aventis CropScience is a major crop protection company and a major player in the pest control industry, being responsible for brands such as GOLIATH, MAXFORCE ULTRA and AQUA PY. The CropScience group reported sales in 2000 of €4 Billion, and employs 15,300 people in over 120 countries.
Aventis (NYSE. AVE) generated group sales in 2000 of €22.3 Billion and employed around 92,500 people.