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Bayer to split off polymer division with IPO

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BERLIN (AP) — German pharmaceuticals and chemicals company Bayer AG said Thursday it plans to spin off its polymer division with a separate stock listing.

The Leverkusen-based company that invented aspirin said the move would be part of an effort to focus the group on its health care and crop science businesses.

Bayer Material Sciences, or BMS, would have sales of 11.3 billion euros ($14.55 billion) based on 2013 figures, and have a global workforce of about 16,800 employees, said Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers. Analysts have valued BMS at about $10 billion, reported German news agency dpa.

The polymer division would likely keep its North American headquarters in Pittsburgh, Dekkers said.

He added that Bayer would use proceeds from the sale to invest in its life sciences business or reduce debt, or both.

Shares in the group were up 5.4 percent at 112.05 euros ($144.23) by mid-afternoon on the Frankfurt exchange Thursday.

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