With all of the media's attention focused on whether Bayer will purchase Monsanto or not, Bayer spun off its Consumer business of its Environmental Science unit to SBM Développement. The Consumer business encompasses the Bayer Garden and Bayer Advanced businesses in Europe and North America. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Bayer Garden and Bayer Advanced provide products for hobby gardeners and homeowners while SBM formulates crop and non-crop products for the home and garden market in France.

"In SBM, we've found a strategic acquirer that can provide the Bayer Garden and Bayer Advanced businesses and people with a long-term vision and perspective to reach their full potential," remarked Dr. Jacqueline Applegate, Head of Environmental Science and Member of the Crop Science Executive Committee. "At the same time, divesting the Consumer business will enable Environmental Science to become even more growth-oriented and strengthen our market leadership position with a single-minded focus on the unique needs of our professional customers."

SBM's product portfolio is seen as complementary to Bayer's businesses because SBM has focused on creating biological plant protection products. The acquisition will allow SBM to expand in Europe and to enter the North American market.

The transaction is expected to close in October 2016, at which time all employees holding one of the almost 250 positions dedicated to the Bayer Garden and Bayer Advanced businesses in Europe and North America will transfer to SBM. Until the closing, Bayer Garden and Bayer Advanced will continue to operate as part of Bayer, with no impact on their ongoing business operations or product portfolios as a result of the pending sale.