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Bayer arms ready to fold into a powerhouse

Mumbai, May 16: Bayer India and Bayer CropScience (formerly Aventis CropScience) have sent out word that they would like to unite for growth and cohesion. If they do, it would spawn a Rs 800-crore giant that would dwarf all other agro-chemical firms in the country.

“We have a lot of synergies and products that compliment,” Bayer CropScience managing director Sagar Kaushik said.

The boards will meet on May 19 to consider the proposal for amalgamation, the two companies said in a communication sent to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Working out the scheme of arrangement under Sections 391-394 of the Companies Act, and fixing a swap ratio for it, will be the two key items on the agenda.

Meanwhile, Bayer India has told BSE that its board is also considering a proposal to split the existing equity capital of Bayer India into shares with a face value of Rs 10 each as a part of the scheme of arrangement.

Bayer CropScience India was formerly known as Aventis CropScience India. Bayer acquired Aventis CropScience, the parent of Aventis CropScience India, a deal that gave it a 67.08 per cent stake in Aventis’ Indian arm.

In recent months, Bayer Crop Science India and Bayer Agro joined hands in a strategic alliance to offer a complete crop protection package under one umbrella. The plan has been set rolling since April 1, Kaushik said.

The two firms are planning to introduce several products in crop protection and environmental sciences over the next three years in an industry that has already witnessed the market for crop protection shrink by around 20 per cent in 2002, largely due to drought.

The crop-protection package covers seed-dressing agents to insecticides, fungicides and environmental science products.

Sagar said the merger would impart the combined entity the ability to launch a slew of products in the Indian market.

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