Bayer announced on February 24 its intention to divest the company’s Environmental Science Professional (ES) business as part of “plans to accelerate the implementation of its Crop Science division’s strategy”.
Some of the products Bayer is known for in the lawn and landscaping market are Specticle, Celsius, Topchoice, Merit, and Tribute Total.
After the company issued a press release, which you can read below, sister publications Lawn & Landscape, Pest Control Technology and Golf Course Industry, spoke to Gilles Gaillou about the announcement. Here are some takeaways.
Bayer had long been considering exiting ES, Gaillou said, and the decision to do so now was based on “the focus on the transformation and the investments Bayer Crop Science wants to make in the world of agriculture.” , and that for ES investments must go ahead, “maybe these investments are better placed on the outside”.
The division operates across multiple continents and Bayer spent significant time following the announcement communicating with employees about the impact of the divestiture on current operations and customer interactions.
“It will not affect our employees and it will not affect our relationship with our customers,” said Galliou. “This case is based on growth and not on cost management and, therefore, we will continue to fully engage our clients with the team we have today. Throughout the whole process, our number one goal will be to maintain the service and the product and the commitment we have to our customers. It will not affect this relationship. Our expectation is that this may bring additional opportunities to these customers and employees in the short to medium term. “
The decision to divest Environmental Science will initiate a long process of separation.
“This is only the start of the assessment of Environmental Science as an independent company and it is a process that will take us to mid-2022 before it is finalized,” said Galliou. “So it’s a marathon, it’s a long process. It is not easy to separate a fully integrated division.
Below is the official press release of the company.
MONHEIM – Bayer has announced a series of decisions to accelerate the implementation of the strategy of its Crop Science division. In order to focus on its core agricultural business, this includes the intention to divest the company’s Environmental Science Professional business. It encompasses environmental solutions to control pests, diseases and weeds in non-agricultural areas such as vector control, professional pest control, industrial vegetation management, forestry and turf and ornamental plants.
To further drive performance and growth in the division’s business region, Bayer has appointed Dr. Jacqueline M. Applegate to lead the Crop Science North America region effective March 1, 2021. She currently leads the Environmental Sciences and Vegetable seeds of the division. In addition to his appointment, the company appointed Dr Jeremy Williams, currently Global Head of Plant Biotechnology at Crop Science, as Head of the Climate Corporation and Digital Agriculture, and Tom Armitage de Mondelez as Head of global communication for crop science. Both will take effect on March 15, 2021. The three leaders will join the Crop Science leadership team and play a key role in accelerating the transformation of the division.
In addition, Bayer has appointed Gilles Galliou, currently head of business operations for Bayer Vegetable Seeds Americas, to lead the Environmental Sciences business and the planned divestment. The global environmental science business will be headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, effective June 1, 2021. Inci Dannenberg, currently head of global strategic marketing for vegetable seeds, has also been appointed to lead the Crop Science’s global vegetable seed business, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Both appointments are effective from March 1, 2021.
“With the announced portfolio and leadership changes and significant new product approvals for soybeans, corn and cotton in the Americas, we are now moving from integration to accelerating growth. We laser focus on business execution and transforming agriculture through innovation that benefits farmers, consumers and our planet, ”said Liam Condon, Board Member of Bayer AG and president of the Crop Science division. “Like farmers around the world, we have faced challenges in recent years; however, I am very excited about the prospects for our Crop Science business. The global coronavirus pandemic has shown how important agriculture and a sustainable food system are, and the crucial role science can play in solving difficult problems. Stimulating innovation, accelerating the digital transformation of agriculture and helping to decarbonize the food system are at the heart of our vision to feed a growing population without starving the planet.