Bayer considers selling $3B+ radiology business: Reuters

Bayer, which is making moves to acquire agrochemical giant Monsanto, is said to be mulling a sale of its radiology supplies business potentially worth more than $3 billion, Reuters reported.

Last month, rumors surfaced that Bayer had been in talks regarding a bid for Monsanto, and while the German pharma kept mum, the news sparked talk that it may potentially sell its animal health business to finance the transaction. Soon after, Bayer offered $62 billion in cash to buy Monsanto.

Bayer said it doesn't need to sell off assets to afford its bid for Monsanto, but it would continue strategic reviews of its businesses as usual, Reuters reported. Bayer's products are divided among its pharmaceutical, consumer health, animal health and crop science businesses.

Unnamed sources told Reuters that Bayer is in talks about enlisting a financial adviser to weigh "strategic alternatives" for the radiology unit, including a sale. Its main radiology offerings include contrast agents for imaging. Its top performers in 2015 were Ultravist for CT scans with €318 million ($357 million) in sales and Gadovist for MRI scans with €290 million ($327 million) in sales.

In 2014, Bayer agreed to divest its interventional device business to Boston Scientific ($BSX) for $415 million. At the time, then-CEO Olivier Brandicourt said the sale would allow Bayer's Medical Care division to focus on its stronger radiology and diabetes care units. But just a year later, Bayer let the diabetes device business go, selling it to Panasonic Healthcare for $1.2 billion and leaving just radiology in its Medical Care stable.

In the meantime, Bayer has been dealing with consumer backlash and lawsuits regarding its Essure birth control device. It picked up the device in its $1.1 billion acquisition of Conceptus in 2013, but the device has been dogged by thousands of consumer complaints since its approval in 2002.

- read the Reuters story