Bayer reduces stake in Covestro to 14.2%, raises €1.8 billion

January 12, 2018

Bayer has reduced its direct interest in Covestro from 24.6% to 14.2%, selling a total of 21 million shares at a price of €86.25/share. The placement volume amounted to €1.8 billion ($2.2 billion), exceeding the €1.5 billion initially envisaged, due to strong interest shown by investors. The share placement took place on 10 January after market close CET and was aimed exclusively at institutional investors.

Bayer has been divesting its stake in Covestro in stages since March 2017 as it focuses on its life sciences businesses. Bayer intends to achieve full separation from Covestro in the medium term, as previously announced.

The price of the latest placement is €19.75/share higher than the price achieved in March 2017. Bayer then reduced its stake in Covestro from 64.2% to 53.3%, selling 22 million shares and raising €1.5 billion at €66.5/share. The company reduced its stake further in June, to 44.8%, selling 17.25 million shares at €62.25/share. By September, it had raised a further €2.2 billion and reduced it’s stake in Covestro to 24.6%. The company has raised about €5.5 billion in total from Covestro shares since March.

Bayer’s material science subgroup was renamed Covestro in September 2015, and Covestro was publicly listed in October of the same year.

Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs International acted as joint bookrunners for the latest placement, and Bayer has agreed to a 90-day lock-up period as part of the transaction.

The Bayer Pension Trust holds a separate 8.9% stake in Covestro.

By Francinia Protti-Alvarez

Source: Chemical Week