Bayer AG May Have a Buyer for Diabetes Biz

Bayer AG (BAYZF) May Have a Buyer for Diabetes Biz
February 20, 2015
By Riley McDermid, Breaking News Sr. Editor

German drugmaker Bayer AG is almost finished putting together a deal to sell its diabetes devices business to Panasonic Healthcare Co., under a joint agreement structured by private equity shop KKR & Co., people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Friday.

The news service said an announcement on the sale could come as soon as today, citing unnamed sources. Both Panasonic and KKR spokespeople declined to comment. KKR currently owns 80 percent of Panasonic Healthcare, while Panasonic Corp owns the remaining 20 percent.

“The unit could fetch between 1 billion euros and 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion), people familiar with the process said in November,” said Bloomberg. “Talks are ongoing and an agreement may be delayed or fall apart, they said.”

The news does not come as a total surprise. Bayer Chief Executive Officer Marijn Dekkers has recently been focused on selling off peripheral units of the company as he seeks to execute a new refocus on life sciences. Part of that plan has Bayer auctioning off its plastics business in a bid to free up more liquidity for deals in the more lucrative sectors of healthcare, veterinary drugs and crop protection products.

Bayer bought Merck & Co. ’s over-the-counter drug business for $14.2 billion in May and Dekkers said at the time he is now eyeing more deals in the veterinary space.

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