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Thursday, Jun 06, 2002

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Bayer CropScience set for global launch

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, June 5

THE merged entity of Bayer's Crop Protection Business Group with Aventis CropScience SA is ready for launch worldwide.

The merger deal aggregating to Euro 7.25 billion was closed on June 3 following the European Commission's approval of the acquisition in April 2002 and the United States Federal Trade Commission giving the go-ahead on May 30, a press release issued in Mumbai said.

Bayer CropScience is divided into five functions and its operations are steered through five market regions — Europe, NAFTA, Cono Sur (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay), North-east Asia and International.

The crop protection business is complemented by two autonomous business groups — Environmental Science and Bio Science.

``We will be able to capitalise on our strengths as a leading company in crop protection, the seed business and biotechnology as well as in non-agricultural pest control. We are counting on the considerable innovative power of the new company,'' the release said quoting Mr Werner Wenning, Chairman, Bayer Management Board.

The international company has set a target of growing at about four per cent a year. ``That way we could increase annual sales to more than Euro 7 billion within the next three to four years,'' the release said quoting Dr Jochen Wulff, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience.

``We have had to reduce our sales forecast compared to our original plan because we have to meet the conditions set by the EU Commission and the FTC. But we are holding on to our strategic goal of achieving a 20 per cent return on sales by 2006,'' the release said.

In India, the combined business of both the companies for only crop protection based on proforma sales of 2001 is above Rs 800 crore. This will propel the Bayer Group's Crop science business in India as the industry leader.

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