Bayer AG is to shortlist two or three buyers for its Haarmann & Reimer fragrances and flavours unit within two weeks and is on course to earn more than it first expected from the disposal due to aggressive bidding, sources said on Thursday.
Bayer said earlier that between seven and eight bidders were in the running for Haarmann & Reimer and that it hoped to earn at least €1.5 billion ($1.38bn) from the transaction.
"They (Bayer) are narrowing the field to two to three parties," an industry source familiar with the proceedings told Reuters. "They will probably negotiate with two parties in the end and we should know who they are within the next two weeks."
Sources said that in addition to Swiss group Givaudan, its US rival International Flavors and Fragrances and German specialty chemicals group Degussa, private Swiss company Firmenich had also thrown its hat into the ring.
UK-based private equity fund Cinven was among a handful of major financial investors also hoping to get shortlisted, sources said. Bayer, Firmenich and Cinven declined to comment."It's aggressive bidding and hence Bayer can make closer to 1.7 billion euros on this," one senior industry insider said.