German drugs and pesticides group Bayer
has further reduced its holding in Covestro
to 31.5 per cent from 40.9 per cent by selling 19 million shares in the plastics business for a total of 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion).
It said on Wednesday that it placed the stock at 63.25 euro each, a 3.7 per cent 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 US 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 per cent of Covestro.