By David Ranii
Life sciences giant Bayer is planning to invest 2.5 billion euros, or $2.8 billion in U.S. dollars, on capital expenditures for its crop science division over the next four years.
Liam Condon, head of the division that employs about 1,000 workers in Research Triangle Park, unveiled the spending plan for 2017 to 2020 at a company event in Germany Wednesday.
The infrastructure investment, which is in addition to planned research-and-development spending for the crop science division of more than 1 billion euros annually, “will help ensure a continuous innovative product pipeline that can meet the challenging needs of growers around the world,” Condon said in the Germany-based company’s announcement.
Condon also affirmed the division’s earlier guidance.
“In light of the continuing weak market environment, we expect crop science to continue to outperform the market with sales to remain on the prior-year level” after adjusting for currency fluctuations and for the sale of the Bayer Advanced and Bayer Garden consumer products businesses announced in May, he said. That would put the division’s revenue at about 10 billion euros, or $11.18 billion.
The crop science division has been steadily expending its presence in the Triangle and has invested about $150 million in new facilities locally since 2012, including renovating the division’s North American headquarters and building high-tech greenhouses. RTP is also the global headquarters of Bayer’s seeds business.
Bayer is in the midst of trying to acquire St. Louis-based Monsanto. This week it raised its offer for the company to $56 billion, 2 percent higher than its prior offer and 19 percent above Monsanto’s closing price.
“If we don’t do this, it takes us longer to get where we want to be,” Condon told Bloomberg News in an interview.