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Pharmaceuticals Giant Interested in Bayer Part

Shares in the German chemical manufacturer Bayer AG jumped 3.85 percent on Monday morning after a British paper reported pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) showed interest in a controlling interest in its pharmaceuticals business. Bayer's medical drugs division has been in trouble since last year, when it had to withdraw its anti-chloresterol drug Lipobay following deaths from side effects. CEO Werner Wenning has said the company is now willing to relinquish control over its pharmaceuticals division in order to attract a strong partner. "A partnership where Bayer retains the majority and which still assists our business is no longer realistic," he told journalists last week, adding that Bayer didn’t “intend to sell off the medical drugs business completely." The two companies are already working on a number of joint ventures, including the potency drug "Levitra," which is due to go on sale in 2003.