September 13, 2017 / 5:50 AM / a year ago

Bayer sells 9.4 percent stake in Covestro for 1.2 billion euros

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German drugs and pesticides group Bayer has further reduced its holding in Covestro to 31.5 percent from 40.9 percent by selling 19 million shares in the plastics business for a total of 1.2 billion euros. ($1.4 billion)

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the Bayer Healthcare subgroup production plant in Wuppertal, Germany February 24, 2014. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender/File Photo

It said on Wednesday that it placed the stock at 63.25 euros each, a 3.7 percent discount to Tuesday’s closing share price, which DZ Bank analyst Peter Spengler said indicated healthy demand for the stock.

Bayer, which is trying to wrap up the $66 billion takeover of U.S. seeds giant Monsanto by the end of the year, had announced the accelerated bookbuilding late on Tuesday, part of its plan to fully sever ties with Covestro over the medium-term.

It has agreed to hold off for 90 days on placing more shares in Covestro, which it spun off as a listed company two years ago. Bayer’s pension trust separately holds 8.9 percent of Covestro.

Barclays and Citigroup acted as joint bookrunners for the placement, which was aimed at institutional investors.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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