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Bayer, Lanxess to sell Currenta JV to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Bayer AG and Lanxess AG agreed to sell their stakes in the Currenta GmbH & Co. OHG joint venture to funds managed by infrastructure investor Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Inc.,

Multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer holds a 60% stake in German chemical park operator Currenta, while specialty chemicals company Lanxess owns the remaining 40%.

Currenta, which operates infrastructure facilities at chemical complexes in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen, has a total enterprise value of €3.5 billion, including net debt and pension obligations.

Australian investment bank Macquarie Group won the bidding battle for Bayer's interest in Currenta, Reuters reported in early March, citing people close to the matter. The German pharmaceutical and agrochemical company had put its Currenta unit up for sale in 2018 to reduce its debt burden following the $62.5 billion acquisition of Monsanto Co.

Bayer's 60% stake in Currenta has an equity value of about €1.17 billion. In addition, it is selling an extensive package of real estate and infrastructure assets to Currenta for €180 million.

The pharmaceutical company expects to complete the sale of its Currenta stake in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Lanxess' stake in Currenta is valued at approximately €780 million pretax. It will continue to provide operational support to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets during the transition phase and expects to close the sale of its 40% stake in Currenta by the end of April 2020.

The specialty chemicals company is entitled to a profit participation until completion of the transaction.

Matthias Zachert, chairman of the management board at Lanxess, said the Currenta stake sale will provide the chemicals company with additional financial leeway to advance its growth in the specialty chemicals sector.

In addition, the infrastructure investor and Bayer agreed on long-term service and supply contracts, while Lanxess entered into an initial 10-year service and supply agreement with the asset manager on contracts for the three sites in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld.

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, which is a part of Australia-based investment bank and financial services company Macquarie Group Ltd., noted that it does not plan any restructuring or changes to Currenta's existing workforce.