Share sale raises $300 million

Bayer has raised more than $300 million after selling its shareholding in US biotechnology company Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc in order to alleviate debt.

Bayer has raised more than $300 million after selling its shareholding in US biotechnology company Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The shares were purchased in 1998 when Bayer made an equity investment of around $97 million in Millennium as part of a research agreement, which will be concluded on October 31, 2003.

The alliance, established in 1998, is believed to have been one of the largest in the field of pharmaceutical drug discovery, with the primary goal of identifying 225 important new ‘drug targets’ relevant to cardiovascular disease, cancer, pain, hematologic and viral diseases, urinary incontinence and benign prostatic hypertrophy.

The approximately 19.8 million shares (about 6.6 percent of Millennium’s share capital) were sold in a block trade to the investment bank CSFB for resale. Bayer will use the proceeds to further reduce its net debt.