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What to expect from Bayer’s divestment of Environmental Science

March 3, 2021 -  By
Gilles Galliou, who will lead Bayer's divestment effort. (Photo courtesy of Bayer)

Gilles Galliou, who will lead Bayer’s divestment effort. (Photo courtesy of Bayer)

Amid Bayer’s planned divestment of its Environmental Science Professional business, Landscape Management spoke with Gilles Galliou, who will lead the divestment effort, about what this will mean for the lawn care industry.

Bayer’s Environmental Science Professional business includes vector control, professional pest management, industrial vegetation management, forestry and turf and ornamentals solutions.

In a previous statement, the company said this move is designed to “focus on the core agricultural business in its Crop Science division.”

The company named Galliou to lead the Environmental Science Professional business, as well as the divestment efforts, effective March 1. The business will be headquartered in Cary, N.C., effective June 1. Galliou currently serves as head of commercial operations for Bayer Vegetable Seeds Americas. He also is chairman of the governing board for Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment.

Galliou said the lawn care customers can expect continued service from Bayer, and any outward change likely will not take place for another 12 to 18 months.

“We’re at the beginning of a process of divestment, so it’s going to take some time,” Galliou said. “So, internally we’ll do a lot of efforts to work with our team, and externally, we will guarantee that everything goes well with our customers. So, there will be no disruption in term of services, products, solutions, access to markets, any of that.”

Galliou said that long term, Bayer’s ambition is to be a leader in the industry.

“What we’re really aiming at is to create an environment where our customers will see additional investment, a speed to embrace innovation and engage with our customers faster and in a wider scope,” he said. “That being said, yesterday or today, we are really part of Bayer. Obviously, it gives us a very strong portfolio of innovation, but also limitations. Tomorrow, we are open to new partnerships and new ways of accessing an increase in speed in innovation.”

Galliou said the decision to divest came after a regular review by Bayer Crop Science. “Ultimately, they reviewed the capacity to invest further in agriculture and divest our Environmental Science (portfolio).”

Galliou noted that Bayer’s portfolio and the people taking care of its customers won’t change.

“We are building on who we are today, in terms of people, portfolio, regulatory support, products and solutions,” he said. “In the future, they might see us investing in additional innovation, wanting to capture additional partnerships and bring new solutions to the market. We will continue to be the partner for Bayer Innovation in the future.”

At this time, Galliou said it is too early to discuss a potential buyer.

The Environmental Science Professional business netted sales of 600 million Euros (approximately $728,250,000 USD) in 2019.

Bayer has also named Jacqueline M. Applegate, Ph.D., to lead Crop Science North America, effective March 1. She currently heads the division’s Environmental Science and Vegetable Seeds businesses.

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Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor. She can be reached at swebb@northcoastmedia.net.

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