Bayer plans to leave animal health industry

Unable to provide “necessary investments,” the company will find a new owner for its veterinary business.

Bayer plans to leave animal health industry

Bayer Animal Health, the maker of Advantage flea treatments and Seresto flea and tick collars, could be on the sales block.

Parent company Bayer AG reported Nov. 29 that it will shed its animal health unit as part of a financial shakeup that includes 12,000 job cuts company-wide. Whether the veterinary division will be sold or spun off was not announced.

“Our animal health business is well positioned in an attractive industry which will continue to grow,” said Werner Baumann, chairman of Bayer AG’s board of management. “The necessary investments to further develop this business are, however, not available within Bayer given the priorities with our core areas Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science. Because of these priorities, we are convinced that Bayer is no longer the best owner for Animal Health.”

The animal unit’s North American headquarters is in Shawnee, Kansas, and employs 550 full-time-equivalent employees, according to Kansas City Business Journal. The chief manufacturing sites are in Shawnee and Kiel, Germany.

Bayer Animal Health reported 2017 sales of $1.66 billion, making it the world’s fifth-largest animal health company after Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck and Elanco.

Advantage and Seresto are Bayer’s best-selling veterinary brands. The company also makes Drontal dewormers and Baytril antibiotics, among other products.

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