Aventis to sell Wacker-Chernie stake

2nd February 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 2 (AFP) - The French-German pharmaceutical group Aventis said Monday it had received European Commission approval to sell its 49 percent stake in the German chemical company Wacker-Chernie rather than a 15 percent holding in Rhodia of France.

PARIS, Feb 2 (AFP) - The French-German pharmaceutical group Aventis said Monday it had received European Commission approval to sell its 49 percent stake in the German chemical company Wacker-Chernie rather than a 15 percent holding in Rhodia of France.

The European Union's executive arm in 1999 approved the merger of Rhone-Poulenc of France and the German firm Hoechst to form Aventis on condition that the new entity reduce its stake in Rhodia to less than five percent.

The Commission has drafted a timetable over several years for Aventis to sell its holding in Wacker, Aventis said in a statement.

Aventis also confirmed plans to divest all its non-core operations by the end of the year.

The group is currently fighting a hostile takeover bid from French rival Sanofi-Synethelabo.

Aventis in its statement Monday said: "In light of the current financial situation at Rhodia, Aventis has sought added flexibility to secure its own financial interest by allowing Rhodia to adequately restructure its operations."

Rhodia is currently struggling, having posted losses over the last two years, and is undergoing a reorganization.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news
 

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