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Report: Private equity groups interested in Bayer's animal-health business

Private equity giants KKR & Co. and CVC Capital Partners Ltd. are considering buying the animal-health unit of Bayer AG, pushing the German conglomerate to go through the planned sale, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Buyout groups such as Advent International Corp., Blackstone Group LP, EQT Partners AB and Permira Holdings Ltd., along with industry peers, are among other potential buyers, the sources said.

The business could sell for as much as €8 billion, although valuations could change once the auction begins, expected in the second quarter, the sources added.

Bayer is said to be working with an accounting firm and advisers to put together separate financial data in advance of the potential sale. The German conglomerate, however, could still choose to split the business into a publicly traded company if the takeover bids are too low, the sources reportedly said.

The interested parties are also working on financing and are hiring advisers for the potential deal, with some considering forming a consortium, the people said.

A Bayer representative did not give details on the matter, although the company said it will provide information on its plans for the target unit in its earnings report in April, Bloomberg noted. KKR, EQT, Blackstone, Permira, CVC and Advent representatives did not comment on the matter.