German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer has announced it has agreed to sell its pest control unit to UK private equity firm Cinven.

The US$2.6bn (€2.4bn) deal was expected to close in the second half of this year, subject to customary closing conditions, the company said in the 10 March statement.

“This… allows us to focus on our core agricultural business and the successful implementation of our Crop Science Division growth strategy,” Rodrigo Santos, a member of Bayer’s management board and president of the company’s Crop Science Division.

Bayer had announced its intention to sell North Carolina-headquartered Environmental Science Professional last year. The company offers environmental solutions to control pests, diseases and weeds in non-agricultural areas such as vector control, professional pest management, vegetation management, forestry, and turf and ornamentals.

Bayer announced its intention to sell the business last year.