Bayer considers sale of consumer health brands

German pharma giant Bayer AG is considering selling some consumer health brands to bolster finances, according to Reuters.

Earlier this year, Bayer purchased seeds group Monsanto for $63 billion, prompting S&P Global Ratings to cut Bayer's credit rating. The decision to sell off consumer health brands comes as Bayer looks to lighten its debt load, according to people familiar with the decision cited by Reuters.

Over the last few years, Bayer's consumer healthcare business has faced falling revenue in the U.S. as consumers switch from buying products at brick-and-mortar drugstores to online retailers.  In the first nine months of 2018, Bayer's consumer health products saw sales decline by 0.4 percent, after seeing declining sales in fiscal year 2017.

In-house specialists are looking to make up for the losses with the possible sale of some of its consumer health assets.  

"Bayer is planning to divest consumer health brands in certain countries where it deems its business to be too small to thrive in the long term," one of the unnamed sources told Reuters.

The drugmaker also is planning to review options for its animal health division to bolster finances.

Read the full report here.

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