September 5, 2007 / 6:47 AM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 2-Bayer latest to delist from NYSE to cut costs

(Adds share price, background)

FRANKFURT, Sept 5 (Reuters) - German drugs and chemicals group Bayer BAYG.DE said on Wednesday it plans to delist from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to cut costs, the latest in a string of German firms to do so.

Other major German companies that are pulling out of the U.S. exchange to reduce costly reporting complexity include chemicals group BASF BASF.DE and SGL Group (SGCG.DE), a carbon and graphite products maker.

German piping maker Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology (PV.DE) also said last month it would delist from the exchange.

On Wednesday, Bayer said in a statement it also planned to deregister with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and terminate the related reporting obligations.

Bayer said the delisting would save around 15 million euros ($20 million) a year, compared with 5 million euros at BASF.

“Bayer will maintain a high level of transparency in its reporting and thus continue to satisfy the requirements of international investors,” said Klaus Kuehn, chief financial officer of Bayer in a statement.

“Delisting and deregistration will enable us to achieve this with fewer formalities and therefore at lower cost,” he added.

Bayer, which had notified the NYSE, said trading in its ADSs is to cease at the end of September or beginning of October.

The company said it would keep its ADS programme as a “level one” programme to allow U.S. investors to hold their securities and trade them in the U.S. over-the-counter market.

Bayer shares were 0.5 percent lower at 58.27 euros at 0700 GMT, compared with a 0.2 percent dip in the German blue-chip DAX .GDAXI index.

Since April, more than 30 foreign firms have announced plans to pull their U.S. listings, including British Airways BAY.L, Fiat FIA.MI, and CanWest Global Communications CGS.TO.

The companies cite multiple accounting standards, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, low trading volume, and a new rule that eases requirements to deregister as reasons for the move.

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