Bayer resumes efforts to sell diabetes device unit

FRANKFURT - German drugmaker Bayer AG is considering a fresh attempt to sell its diabetes device business as it sharpens its focus on margin-rich healthcare sectors, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Bayer is overhauling its structure with plans to list its plastics business on the stock market to free up money for investments and acquisitions in healthcare, veterinary drugs and crop protection products.

It already tried to find a buyer for the Contour blood glucose meter business, which has annual sales of 722 million euros ($897 mln), in 2012 as the industry grappled with increased competition and reimbursement pressure.

But it failed to generate sufficient interest from potential bidders such as French drugmaker Sanofi, sources said at the time.

Two sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Bayer has mandated Credit Suisse to find a buyer for the business and is expecting tentative bids in the first quarter of 2015.

Bloomberg earlier cited sources as saying the diabetes device business, thought to be worth 1 billion to 2 billion euros, might attract bids from private equity firms such as Cinven Ltd, EQT Partners AB and Triton Advisers Ltd.

Bayer and Credit Suisse declined to comment on the matter.