A number of investment groups are reported to be interested buying Bayer AG's MaterialScience operation, valued at around 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion).
Reports from Reuters news agency said that at least five private equity firms — Advent, Carlyle, Cinven, CVC and KKR — were circling the division, which last month Bayer announced would be spun off and listed on the Frankfurt stock market by the end of next year.
Reuters said a consortium may be created to handle the deal, with investors from sovereign wealth funds adding their support for a deal.
None of the investment firms or Bayer commented on the story, the agency said.
Bayer's MaterialScience operation contributed nearly 28 percent of Bayer's total 40.2 billion euros ($50.8 billion) in sales last year, but only 8.8 percent of its 435 million euros ($550.2 million) in earnings before interest and tax.