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Lanxess, Bayer sell chemical park operator to Macquarie for $3.9 bln

Credit: REUTERS/WOLFGANG RATTAY

German chemical groups Bayer and Lanxess have agreed to sell chemical park operator Currenta to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) for an enterprise value of 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion).

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT, Aug 6 (Reuters) - German chemical groups Bayer BAYGn.DE and Lanxess LXSG.DE have agreed to sell chemical park operator Currenta to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) MQG.AX for an enterprise value of 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion).

That includes net debt and pension obligations and a related real estate portfolio that Bayer will transfer to Macquarie, the sellers said on Tuesday.

Reuters reported last September initial plans by Bayer to divest its 60% stake in the chemical park operator, part of a string of assets it has put on the block to slash its debt since its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto last year.

It has recently sold consumer health brands Dr. Scholl's and Coppertone and is looking for a new owner for its animal health business.

Bayer's stake in Currenta fetched an equity value of about 1.17 billion euros after deducting net debt and pension obligations. In addition, Bayer agreed to sell real estate on which Currenta operates for 180 million euros.

Lanxess, which had initially intended to hold on to its stake, realised an equity value of about 780 million euros for its 40%, in addition to an unspecified participation in profits until the transaction is completed.

Bayer had initially planned to sell the Currenta stake - a legacy asset with little benefit for its core drugs and agriculture businesses - to its former industrial chemicals subsidiary Covestro 1COV.DE, but could not agree on a valuation.

Covestro and Lanxess LXSG.DE, both former Bayer businesses, are Currenta's main customers.

Reuters reported in March that Macquarie had emerged as the leading bidder for Bayer's stake, beating out rival suitors DWS DWSG.DE and KKR KKR.N.

($1 = 0.8929 euros)

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Jan Harvey)

((ludwig.burger@thomsonreuters.com; +49 69 7565 1311; Reuters Messaging: ludwig.burger.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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