Bayer is to sell its diabetes devices unit to Panasonic Healthcare , a joint venture backed by buyout firm KKR, for about €1 billion to leave a business hobbled by ageing products and price pressure.
The unit makes blood-glucose monitoring systems and other devices used by some of the 350 million people who live with diabetes, Leverkusen, Germany-based Bayer and Tokyo-based Panasonic Healthcare said in a statement on Wednesday.
Bayer chief executive officer Marijn Dekkers is shedding peripheral units as he focuses on more lucrative life-sciences operations.
Blood glucose monitors face competition from a new generation of products as well as increasing price pressure from governments.
Bayer also plans to list its plastics unit on the stock market in coming months. “Bayer has been looking to sell this business for several years and management was frustrated by its negative effect on growth and margins,” Alistair Campbell, an analyst at Berenberg said .
Panasonic Healthcare may want the business to combine it with its own to better resist price pressure and expand in countries such as China, which has a third of all diabetics.
More than 80 per cent of diabetes deaths occur in low-and middle- income countries, according to the World Health Organization.