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Bayer may sell plastics unit to focus on health: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - German drugmaker Bayer AG is exploring the sale of its $10 billion plastics unit to focus on growing its health business, Bloomberg reported citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Bayer is considering the sale of its MaterialScience division after chemicals company Evonik Industries AG showed interest in the unit several months ago, Bloomberg said, adding that no final decision has been made on the plastics unit. (http://r.reuters.com/pez78v)

Bayer, Germany's largest drugmaker, in April last year lowered its outlook for its MaterialScience unit, which makes transparent plastics used in sports goggles, DVDs and car lights, as core earnings for the division slumped by more than a quarter.

Polycarbonates, the type of transparent plastic that is Bayer's specialty, are in ample global supply after lower-cost rivals in the Middle East, mainly Sabic, built new sites.

Bayer was not immediately available for comment outside regular business hours.

(This story corrects the third paragraph to say Bayer lowered its outlook for the MaterialScience unit in April last year, not last Friday)

(Reporting by Arnab Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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