Environmental Science to Separate from Bayer

Environmental Science to Separate from Bayer

Now that Bayer has announced the divestment of its Environmental Science business, what’s next for this manufacturer of a broad portfolio of pest control products and solutions? PCT caught up with Bayer's Gilles Galliou, who will lead the divestment.

February 25, 2021

MONHEIM, Germany — Bayer announced on Feb. 24 its intent to divest the company’s Environmental Science Professional business (ES) as part of “plans to accelerate the strategy implementation of its Crop Science division.” 

Bayer's Environmental Science Professional business provides solutions to control pests, disease and weeds in non-agricultural areas such as professional pest management, vector control, industrial vegetation management, forestry, and turf and ornamentals. The Environmental Science Professional business had sales of more than $725 million in 2019. 

In the professional pest control market, Bayer offers one of the largest portfolios of products and solutions in the industry, supported by a strong and experienced technical/sales team. The company’s product line includes such well known brands as DeltaGard, Maxforce, Premise, Suspend, Tempo and the Bayer Rodent Monitoring System.

Following the announcement, PCT and sister publication Golf Course Industry caught up with Gilles Galliou — currently head of commercial operations for Bayer Vegetable Seeds Americas — who has been tapped to lead the divestment of Bayer’s Environmental Science business.

Galliou said ES was a “special” and “profitable” business for Bayer, and it benefitted from Bayer’s technology, research capabilities and processes, but ES was “always on the side of the major business that’s the crop business.”

Bayer had long considered divesting ES, Galliou said, and the decision to do so now was based on “a focus on the transformation and the investments that Bayer Crop Science wants to do in the ag world,” and that for the investments ES needs to move forward, “maybe those investments are better placed outside.”

Related: Bayer to Divest Environmental Science Professional Business
On Feb. 24, Bayer announced its intent to divest the company’s Environmental Science Professional business as part of its plans to accelerate the strategy implementation of its Crop Science division.
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As leader of the divestment, Galliou will act as CEO of this new company. He said his immediate responsibilities will focus on separating ES from Bayer and structuring the business independently, then leading as CEO once the organization is ready to become independent. “It’s a marathon, it’s a long process. It’s not easy to separate a fully integrated division,” said Galliou, who added he expects the divestment to be finalized in mid-2022.

The Environmental Science Professional business will be based in Cary, N.C., effective June 1. The division conducts business on multiple continents and Bayer devoted significant time following the announcement communicating with employees about how the divestment will impact current operations and interactions with customers.

“This is not going to affect our employees and it’s not going to affect our relationship with our customers,” Galliou says. “This case is based on growth and it’s not based on cost management and, therefore, we will continue to fully engage our customers with the team that we have today. During the whole process our No. 1 focus will be to maintain the service and the product and the engagement we have toward our customers. It’s not going to affect that relationship. Our expectation is that it will maybe bring additional opportunities in the short and mid-term to those customers and employees.”

Bayer is one of the pest control industry’s strongest supporters and association partners and Gaillou said this commitment will continue. “I can guarantee that our engagement toward the industry and industry associations, in general, will be very, very strong,” Galliou says.

While Galliou would not comment on potential suitors, he said, “We are looking to become an independent company, but again, we are at the very beginning of this process and we are preparing for all options.”

PCT will be providing additional coverage of this important industry development online (www.pctonline.com) and in the magazine.

The author is senior digital editor and managing editor of PCT. Golf Course Industry Editor-in-Chief Guy Cipriano also contributed to this article.