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Report: Bayer mulls divesting animal health business

Bayer AG is looking to sell its animal health unit as it streamlines businesses after the Monsanto Co. acquisition in June, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the plans.

Nothing has been finalized yet and the German pharmaceutical giant may decide to keep the business, the sources added. If, however, it does decide to divest the unit Bayer could also opt to publicly list it, one of the sources said.

The animal health business is seen to be Bayer's smallest segment at an estimated $1.83 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

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Before buying agricultural product developer Monsanto, Bayer's largest segment was pharmaceuticals, followed by crop sciences, consumer health and then animal health. But following the closing of the Monsanto deal, legal woes over an allegedly cancer-causing herbicide has led to uncertainty among investors as Bayer's stock tumble amid mounting lawsuits.

The German pharma company recently notified 227 Berkeley, Calif., manufacturing employees on Oct. 3 that their positions would be terminated.