ERJ staff report (PR)
The decision to float off Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and leave parent group Bayer AG to focus on its crop science and life science businesses has been a long time coming.
The Leverkusen-based group was one of the few remaining chemicals groups to resist dancing completely to the tune of the stock market with its constant demands for higher sales and profits on an almost monthly basis.
The timing of the decision – with profitability at BMS currently in a down phase – suggests that management could no longer prove the value of sticking with traditional roots such as polyurethanes, which was invented by group founder Otto Bayer.
It is too early to assess the future direction of BMS, but one thing on the agenda might be expansion into other areas of the polymer market to reduce its heavy reliance on the polyurethane and polycarbonate sectors.
One intriguing possibility might be a reunion with Lanxess – the rubber and rubber chemicals business which share locations, heritage and history with BMS – itself having been floated off from Bayer in 2004.
Another option might be to add new speciality polymers to its portfolio, with silicone rubber among the candidates.
All just speculation, of course, but while competitors might disagree, it is important for the polymer industry that a major player such as BMS finds its feet quickly as an independent company.
Related story: Bayer MaterialScience to be floated off