Aventis and Schering AG have signed an agreement with Bayer AG on the acquisition of Aventis CropScience. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2002 and is subject to regulatory approval.

In November 2000, Aventis announced its intention to divest Aventis CropScience by the end of 2001 in order to focus on its pharmaceutical business. After reviewing different divestment options, Aventis has continued exclusive negotiations with Bayer since mid-July 2001.

The new entity will be called Bayer CropScience will become the second largest company in the crop protection sector behind Syngenta. Already the leader in insecticides, Bayer will also become the third leading manufacturer of herbicides behind Monsanto and Syngenta

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