Rhein Chemie Sale Falls Through


Bayer AG announced last week that it has failed to complete the sale of subsidiary Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH to investment firm Advent International Corp.

Bayer and Advent announced a tentative agreement for the transaction in October but Leverkusen, Germany-based Bayer said Dec. 5 that the companies were unable to resolve a number of issues. The pharmaceutical giant said it will now consider a variety of options for Rhein Chemie.

We are going to consider every option imaginable, spokesman Roland Keiper said, including selling it or keeping it within the Bayer structure. It has been a successful company so it would be attractive, not only to other potential buyers, but also to Bayer. We are in no hurry. We want to take our time and make a good decision. Keiper declined to discuss the issues that prevented the sale from being completed.

Rhein Chemie supplies specialty chemicals to the lubricants, rubber and plastics industries. It sells a wide variety of additives for industrial lubricants – metalworking fluids, hydraulic oils, industrial gear oils, biodegradable products and greases. Among its principal products are sulfurized extreme pressure additives sold under the Additin label.

Bayer first put Rhein Chemie on the block in November 2001, along with other non-core operations. The subsidiary has 1,100 employees, half of them in Mannheim, Germany, where it is based, and had global sales of Euro 320 million (U.S. $314 million) in 2001. Lubricant additive manufacturing sites are Mannheim and Antwerp, Belgium. The company was founded in 1889 and acquired by Bayer in 1971.

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