Aventis CropScience officials say Bayer is the sole negotiating partner in a takeover of the Aventis Company.
Speaking at the Environmental Affairs Committee meeting at the National Potato Council's annual summer meeting, Aventis representative Alan Ayers said the two companies have signed contracts for negotiations.
They will share information and by the end of 2001 or early 2002 will be closing a deal.
Ayers said Aventis-a stand-alone company-announced last fall it was in strong negotiations with three companies. "Just in the last few days did we know that Bayer was the leader. In 2002, We'll be Bayer," he explained.
Asked about anti-trust issues, he said any problems will be worked out in both the U.S. and EU, even if the company has to sell off big products.
Kem Cunningham of Syngenta, a recently formed company combining Zeneca and Novartis, said it is costing his company the same to register a product that will return $100 million as one that will return $5 million.