Schering AG, Germany (NYSE: SHR), and Aventis S.A., Strasbourg, announced yesterday that both companies have reached an understanding with respect to the future course of action for Aventis CropScience, Lyon. Both parties believe that a sale will generate the highest value. It is therefore intended to initiate detailed discussions with Bayer AG, Leverkusen, in order to conclude a purchase agreement as soon as possible. Schering AG holds a 24 percent interest as financial investment in the crop protection business, while Aventis holds a 76 percent majority.
“We are pleased to have reached an understanding with Aventis securing our financial interests. By focusing on the sale option, we can optimize the value of the business both for our shareholders and the Aventis CropScience employees,” said Dr. Hubertus Erlen, Chairman of the Board of Management of Schering AG.
Aventis CropScience is a major crop protection and crop production company focusing on researching, developing and marketing innovative solutions that meet the needs of today’s farming: healthy crops, increased yields, improved crop and food quality. With 4 billion euros sales in 2000, Aventis CropScience employs about 15,300 people in more than 120 countries world-wide.
In 1994, Schering separated out its crop protection business to form the new company AgrEvo together with Hoechst AG. After the merger of Hoechst AG with the French company Rhone-Poulenc, AgrEvo on January 1, 2000 was integrated into Aventis CropScience. Schering regards its share in Aventis CropScience as a financial investment. The consummation of any disposition of CropScience by Schering is subject to negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement and receipt of all applicable regulatory approvals.
Schering AG is a research-based pharmaceutical company. Its activities are focused on four business areas: Fertility Control & Hormone Therapy, Diagnostics & Radiopharmaceuticals, Dermatology as well as Therapeutics for disabling diseases, e.g. multiple sclerosis, leukemia and solid tumors. As a global player with innovative products Schering AG aims for leading positions in specialized markets worldwide. With in-house R&D and supported by an excellent global network with external partners, Schering AG is securing a promising product pipeline. Using new ideas, Schering AG aims to make a recognized contribution to medical progress and strives to improve the quality of life.
An electronic version of this news release — as well as additional information about Schering AG — is available at www.schering.de .
Certain statements in this press release that are neither reported financial results nor other historical information are forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, statements that are predictions of or indicate future events, trends, plans or objectives. Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and can be affected by other factors that could cause actual results and Schering AG’s plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Certain factors that may cause such differences are discussed in our Form 20-F and Form 6-K reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Schering AG undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any of these forward-looking statements, whether to reflect new information or future events or circumstances or otherwise.