KKR’s Panasonic Healthcare Said Near Bayer Diabetes Deal

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Bayer AG is close to selling its diabetes devices business to Panasonic Healthcare Co., a joint venture backed by buyout firm KKR & Co., people with knowledge of the matter said.

An announcement on the sale may come as soon as today, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The unit could fetch between 1 billion euros and 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion), people familiar with the process said in November. Talks are ongoing and an agreement may be delayed or fall apart, they said.

Bayer Chief Executive Officer Marijn Dekkers is selling peripheral units as he focuses on more lucrative life-sciences businesses. In addition to the diabetes sale, the company plans to list its plastics unit on the stock market. It agreed in May to buy Merck & Co.’s over-the-counter drug business for $14.2 billion, and Dekkers also has expressed interest in acquisitions in veterinary medicines.

KKR owns 80 percent of Panasonic Healthcare, which develops, manufactures, sells and services medical equipment. Japan’s Panasonic Corp. owns the rest.

Representatives for Bayer and KKR declined to comment.