On March 10, Bayer AG, based in Leverkusen, Germany, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Environmental Science unit to Cinven, a private-equity firm based in London, England, for $2.6 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of this year. Pest Management Professional interviewed Gilles Galliou, who is leading the ES business and the divestment efforts as CEO, to better understand the impact the deal will have on the professional pest control industry.
1. What does the sale of Bayer’s Environmental Science (ES) unit mean for ES employees?
Today, we have approximately 800 employees working for ES. By the time the transaction closes, we expect to have a company of around 1,000 employees. We are currently in the process of hiring these additional positions to equip the business with the necessary skills to ensure operational readiness as an independent company.
Cinven has significant experience in investing in and growing businesses similar to ES. As we continue to grow, we will invest in new team members accordingly to ensure the best possible support for our customers.
2. What does it mean for product stewardship to pest management professionals (PMPs)?
ES will continue its commitment to product stewardship. We will build upon Bayer’s product safety commitment, and adapt to our new company’s needs based on scientific methodology. We will also continue to offer product and solution training and educational resources.
In addition, the ES portfolio is continuously adapting and evolving to bring innovative offerings to our customers. Based on the terms of the agreement, Cinven will have the rights to the full product line and services of the ES Professional business (excluding glyphosate products), as well as access rights to the related research-and-development (R&D) pipeline. There also will be opportunities for third-party partnerships and collaborations.
3. When will new branding be announced, and where will ES be headquartered?
After the deal closes, ES will have access to use of the Bayer brand for two years, subject to certain exceptions for some countries. Work is underway to plan for the transition from the Bayer brand to the new corporate brand. Cinven will work with ES teams to develop a new brand. We expect the brand launch and transition will occur after closing and prior to the license expiration of the Bayer brand.
In line with our long-term strategy, the ES business is headquartered in Cary, N.C. Cary is part of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area, which is an innovation hub and near where many of our U.S.-based team members already live. The R&D facilities in Clayton and in RTP will remain for the same reasons.
4. Will the new business continue to be an active industry steward by sponsoring training events, conferences, advocacy initiatives, etc.?
Absolutely. All of our investments will go toward advancing the professional pest management, vector control, vegetation management, forestry, and turf and ornamental industries and the customers therein. As we grow, our support will grow as well.
5. What else should PMPs know about this new chapter for ES?
ES is driven by our vision of healthy environments for everyone, everywhere, and we are passionate about supporting our customers in their important work. Cinven has a shared belief in purpose and people, and is committed to long-term growth that will benefit us and, more importantly, our customers. We are excited about the future.