Bayer said its plastics unit could be listed either via an initial public offering (IPO) with shares sold against cash or a spin-off, meaning shares in the unit would be given to existing Bayer shareholders for free.
"I have nothing against an influx of cash but that is not the main objective. The most important thing is to have a successful independent organisation after an IPO or a spin-off," Bayer's finance chief Werner Baumann told journalists during a conference call, adding that the decision would depend on future market conditions.
Bayer would continue to look at potential takeover targets, Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers said in the call, but added that the reason for splitting off the plastics unit, called Bayer MaterialScience, was not to generate cash for more acquisitions.
He added the company would consider any takeover offers for MaterialScience.
Bayer said earlier it plans to list its less profitable plastics business on the stock market to focus entirely on healthcare, veterinary drugs and crop protection.