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Bayer CropScience To Be Hard Hit By Bayer's Cutback Plans

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Layoffs are in the works at

Bayer CropScience

, and it appears the North Americas business unit that is based in RTP will be hard hit, according to parent company Bayer.

The German-based conglomerate said Tuesday that it would lay off 1,500 workers in its CropScience business unit in order to cut costs.

Bayer Crop Science employs 18,000 people worldwide. Bayer said most of the layoffs would be made in North America. Bayer CropScience employs more than 300 people at its RTP location.

Company officials were in a meeting Tuesday and were unavailable for comment.

The layoffs would be made through 2009, parent Bayer said.

The goal is to cut $345 million in annual costs. To do so, Bayer is to take $380 million in charges and write off some $138 million in assets, the company said in a statement.

"The principal aim of the new efficiency program is to sustainably shrink the company's infrastructure and process costs in areas such as manufacturing, supply chain, development and marketing," Bayer said in a statement. "About half of the planned savings are to be achieved through consolidation of production sites, optimization of procurement activities and a reduction in personnel costs."

Some plants will be closed, the company said.

In an interview with CNBC, Bayer Chief Executive Officer Werne Wenning that the company was not interested in spinning off the division.

However, in a conference call Wenning said 14 of the CropScience division plants would be closed.

In its earning announcement, Bayer said CropScience division sales declined 1.6 percent the last quarter.

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