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John Reitman

By John Reitman

Cinven completes acquisition of Bayer's T&O division; new company will operate as Envu

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After 19 months, the sale of Bayer's turf and ornamental division is finally complete.

Cinven, a private equity firm based in London with offices in seven countries, reached an agreement in March to acquire the professional business segment of Bayer's Environmental Science division for $2.6 billion. The deal finally was completed Oct. 5 for the agreed-upon amount, according to a news release.

100522envu.pngThe business will operate as an independent company known as Envu. Like its predecessor, the new company will be a solutions-based business specializing in pest, disease and weed control in non-agricultural markets including turf, vegetation management, forestry and professional pest management. Almost 900 former Bayer employees will make the transition to Envu, which will do business in Bayer’s former headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.

The transaction allows Bayer to unload its turf and ornamental division while focusing on agriculture.

"In Cinven, we have found a strong new owner with a firm commitment to the long-term growth potential of the business and to its people," said Rodrigo Santos, member of the board of management of Bayer AG and head of the Crop Science division. "At the same time, we can concentrate on our core agricultural business and the successful implementation of our growth strategy in the Crop Science Division." 

Founded in 1977, Cinven is an equity firm that acquires American and European companies in the following market segments: business services, technology, media and telecommunications, financial services, industrials, healthcare and consumer products.

"We thank Bayer for the trust they have placed in Cinven and plan to build on the strong foundations established by Bayer by significantly investing in it," Pontus Pettersson, a partner at Cinven, said in the release. "Cinven is excited to build an independent, focused company and is well positioned to continue to drive innovation and accelerate growth, including the delivery of digital and data-enabled solutions, and to extend the product portfolio further by creating innovative and sustainable solutions for its customers."

The decision to divest Bayer Environmental Science included its professional turf and ornamental business, but does not include the segment's agricultural or commercial units, which are among its most profitable divisions. 

A spokesperson for Bayer said last year that the sale is not related to the company's ongoing challenges associated with settling thousands of lawsuits that blame glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer's Roundup herbicide, for causing cancer. The news release detailing the transaction, however, said Bayer will use the net proceeds from the sale to reduce its net financial debt.

Bayer acquired Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, in 2018. Shortly after the acquisition, Bayer began answering charges filed by litigants that Roundup was responsible for causing their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Since then, the company set aside $15 billion to settle current and future cases.

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