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Bayer CEO: I don't feel the need to join M&A fever

Keeping eye out, but don't feel need for M&A: Bayer CEO
Keeping eye out, but don't feel need for M&A: Bayer CEO

Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers told CNBC he did not feel a need to make acquisitions, as U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer confirmed it had make a second bid approach to AstraZeneca, potentially creating a $100 billion-plus merger.

Dekkers told CNBC: "In healthcare it seems like every five-to-seven years there is acquisition fever and it seems like that time has come again. Some of these moves are understandable from the point of view that some companies are really under pressure with respect of their new pharma product pipeline.

"The good news is that Bayer has a very strong pipeline, we had overall 15 percent growth in our pharma business year over year, which is a very strong number so we don't really feel this absolute need to do acquisitions but we're looking at what is becoming available on the market very seriously and we are alert to the opportunity."

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Dekkers added that "the industry is going through a next wave of consolidation it is important that you look at the opportunities very carefully," and said it was clear to see why pharmaceutical companies were looking into mergers.

"Companies in general are concerned about the prices that governments are willing to pay for our innovative drugs and also...about our patent rights," he told CNBC. "This pressure of pricing and patent protection makes it harder and harder for pharmaceutical companies to significantly invest in R&D (research and development) with a reasonable certainty that there is a return in that investment.

"That makes people say let's put our resources together, let's put our capacities together, our R&D people together, reduce some costs in some cases to try to be more competitive and I think that's what you're seeing at the moment."

Drugmaker Bayer recorded a consensus-beating 11.6 percent increase in first-quarter underlying operating profit, as the German company saw a strong start to 2014. Bayer's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased to 2.74 billion euros ($3.79 billion).

Bayer's 2014 outlook for currency-adjusted sales was around 41-42 billion euros, compared with 40.16 billion last year.

"Then, very positive development in material science, where we saw significant earnings growth this year over last quarter, so the nice part of its that all our three sub groups performed really very well in the quarter."

Dekkers told CNBC: "The points of strength was in our Life Science business, it was very similar to last year;in healthcare, very strong continuous uptake of the new pharma products, also crop science…so we had significant double digit growth in both pharma and in crop science."

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Bloomberg reported on Monday that Bayer was looking into the possible sale of its $10 billion plastics unit in order to concentrate on growing its health business. According to Bloomberg, chemicals company Evonik Industries showed interest in Bayer's material science division a few months ago.

Shares in Bayer were up 4.5 percent in midday trade.