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Business

Bayer Shareholders Agree to Lanxess Spin-Off

Holders of shares in Bayer, the German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant, voted Wednesday in favor of a de-merger of the group's industrial chemicals and polymers business Lanxess. According to a company spokesman, 99.66 percent of those present at the extraordinary shareholders' meeting in Essen approved the move. Lanxess, which has about €6 billion in annual sales, began operating independently on July 1. The spin-off is identical to the move made by former German chemicals giant Hoechst, when it merged with French group Rhone-Poulenc in 1999 to form the life sciences giant Aventis.