MONHEIM, Germany -- Bayer CropScience is bringing its business structure more closely into alignment with the strategic market segments. Effective April 1, 2006, the organization will be structured into six Business Operations units and a Business & Global Marketing Platform with global responsibility.

The former Americas region is being split into two crop protection business operation units -- North America and Latin America.

The objective is to create more efficient structures, to further improve the international positioning of the Bayer subgroup and to enhance competitiveness.

"The new organizational structure will enable us to adapt our business even more to the needs of the market and our customers and at the same time to exploit further potential for synergies," explained Friedrich Berschauer, chairman of the Bayer CropScience Board of Management.

The operating business will be managed directly by six Business Operations units. Four of them will manage the regional crop protection business.

In addition to the two existing regions -- Asia Pacific and Europe & TAMECIS (Turkey, Africa, Middle East) -- North America and Latin America will emerge from the former Americas region to function as independent Business Operations units. The two new units will be headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C. and in Sao Paulo, Brazil, respectively.

This new organization reflects the great importance of agriculture and the market dynamics in both parts of the American continent and brings the organization of Bayer CropScience more firmly into line with local customer requirements. The four regional Business Operations units will be joined by two units responsible for Environmental Science and BioScience, both of which headquartered in Lyon, France.

The new Business & Global Marketing Platform brings together the central corporate functions of portfolio management; industrial operations; research; development; business planning & administration; human resources and communication.

"The bundling of these functions to create an integrated Business & Global Marketing Platform for the entire company will speed up our decision-making processes and make them more focused," Berschauer said. "It will also enable us to exploit potential synergies between our business areas, for example, through better coordination of strategies between BioScience and Crop Protection."

Bayer CropScience has appointed William Buckner, currently responsible for the subgroup's business in the United States, to head the new Business Operations unit, Crop Protection North America, effective April 1, 2006.

Marc Reichardt, currently head of Bayer CropScience Brazil and the Mercosur region, will become head of the new Latin America Business Operations unit on the same date. Buckner and Reichardt will both be members of the Bayer CropScience Executive Committee. Esmail Zirakparvar, head of the former Americas region, will retire after many years of service with the company.

SOURCE: Bayer CropScience news release.