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Bayer says it has financial muscle for larger acquisitions

The CEO of Bayer says the company has the financial clout to pursue a 'larger' acquisition than that of its 2006 purchase of Schering AG

The CEO of German-headquartered Bayer, Werner Wenning, has said that the company has the financial clout to pursue a 'larger' acquisition than that of its 2006 purchase of Schering AG (now Bayer Schering Pharma AG).

Wenning told the German newspaper Handelsblatt that the company had cut debt by EUR 4.8bn in 2007, but added that Bayer's current focus was on integrating Schering before making any further moves.

Any potential takeover would be in the healthcare industry and would not necessarily be a "big bang", added Wenning.

Wenning revealed that the company's drugs division will post internal growth at the same rate as the industry through 2009, but should grow faster than the market thereafter on demand for anti-thrombosis pill Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and cancer drug Nexavar (sorafenib).

Sales in Q3 FY07 at Bayer grew 4.5 per cent to reach EUR 7.8bn, compared with Q3 FY06 sales of EUR 7.5bn. The company's total business expanded by seven per cent in the same time period, while group net income was EUR 1.2bn after a one-time positive tax effect.

30th September 2008

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