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Sequel to global acquisition -- Aventis Crop, Bayer merger may take place by year-end

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, June 14

MERGER of the Indian operations of Aventis CropScience into Bayer India could take place by the end of this year.

According to Mr Sagar Kaushik, Country Head, Aventis CropScience (India), an announcement on the merger is expected by the year-end.

"Globally, the acquisition of the crop science business of Aventis has more or less been completed by Bayer AG and approvals from the European Union and the US have been received. Now, the next step will be a comparison of the businesses of both companies and identification of synergies in the two. We expect that a suitable announcement would be made by the end of this year,'' said Mr Kaushik on the sidelines of the Bayer India annual general meeting (AGM) in Mumbai today.

At the AGM, Mr Dieter Kambeck, Managing Director, Bayer India, said that the company expected to register a growth of 10 per cent in net profit and had a target turnover similar to last financial year.

The capital expenditure in the current fiscal would be about Rs 15 crore, he said.

"We will be investing about Rs 15 crore in the agrochemical and rubber chemicals business in the current year as we foresee a healthy growth in the sector,'' he added.

However, the animal health business could be affected as there is an expectation that the sector might not do well this year.

Said Mr H.V. Goenka, Chairman, Bayer India: "The animal health business is mainly dependent on tenders for products/services. This year, however, there has been no large tender yet and we do not see any happening in the ensuing months. Hence, the animal health business will not do well as compared to last year.''

On being queried about the export target of the company, Mr Kambeck said that the target would be Rs 50 crore, in line with last year's figure.

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