Bayer to transfer Exatec shares to Ge Plastics

Bayer Group company Bayer MaterialScience will transfer its shares in Exatec, its 50:50 joint venture with GE, to GE Plastics for an undisclosed sum. This transaction will be completed subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities. Bayer declined to disclose the financial details of the transaction, saying in a statement, "No statement will be made concerning the financial aspects".

With this divestment, Bayer MaterialScience has opted to carry out its own independent development of polycarbonate automotive glazing, a market that is set to enjoy future growth. The two companies founded Exatec in 1998 to develop technologies to produce automotive glazing systems from polycarbonate.

The collaboration was instrumental in introducing polycarbonate to the market of automotive glazing. With immediate effect, Bayer MaterialScience will provide all customers with ongoing development of technologies for polycarbonate glazing and the tailor-made plastic Makrolon.

Dr Gunter Hilken, head of the polycarbonates business unit at Bayer MaterialScience, said, "In the next few years, Bayer MaterialScience anticipates fast growth in the potential applications for polycarbonate, particularly in the market for large panorama roofs. Several manufacturers are already confident of the advantages of our high-tech Makrolon, for example Mercedes, who are using it in the roof module of the GL-Class, and Smart, who are deploying it in the panorama roof of the new for two."

Hilken added that in the medium and long term, the freedom of design offered by the material, its weight saving and the opportunities it provides for integration mean that it can also be used for rear windows, thus opening up further areas of application within the automotive industry.

With 2006 sales of €10.2 billion (continuing operations), Bayer MaterialScience is among the world's largest polymer companies focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials, essentially for the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries.