Germany’s Bayer has become the latest high-profile multinational to announce plans to quit the New York Stock Exchange in a move that will “reduce complexity and costs”.

The firm said that as well as delisting its American Depositary Shares from the NYSE, it is also going to deregister with the US Securities and Exchange Commission “and thereby terminate the respective reporting obligations”. The SEC’s tough reporting rules, notably the strict Sarbanes-Oxley Act, has caused a lot of foreign companies to reconsider listing in the USA, given the significant expenditure needed to fulfil those rules, which were brought in following the Enron scandal of 2001.

Bayer was first listed in New York, amid much fanfare, at the beginning of 2002 but quitting now should result in annual savings of as much as 15 million euros. However the company “will maintain a high level of transparency in its reporting and thus continue to satisfy the requirements of international investors," said chief financial officer Klaus Kuehn. "Delisting and deregistration will enable us to achieve this with fewer formalities and therefore at lower cost," he added.

Antibody deal signed with Dyax

Meantime the German group’s Bayer Schering Pharma division has entered into an agreement with the USA’s Dyax Corp for the discovery of therapeutic antibodies.

Under the terms of the deal, financials details of which were not disclosed, Dyax will initially identify therapeutic antibodies for two targets provided by Bayer in return for clinical milestone payments and royalties on net sales that may result from the collaboration. The agreement also provides Bayer with sublicenses to relevant third-party antibody phage display patents that may be used with Dyax's technology