Bayer said that its healthcare unit is strengthening its presence in eastern Europe and has taken over the sales force of its partner Pharmonyx that operated within the ex-Soviet Union.

The Leverkusen-based firm is acquiring the marketing and distribution network of Pharmonyx in Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The latter firm has been responsible for selling Bayer Healthcare products in these countries since 1999 and its near-220 staff will be integrated into Bayer’s organisation. Financial details of the takeover have not been disclosed.

Arthur Higgins, chairman of Bayer HealthCare, said that this transaction is in line with the firm’s global strategy for further expansion in the drugs sector “and will also strengthen our presence in the fast-growing eastern Europe region.” He added that “the establishment of a competitive organisation will help us to achieve our goal of sustained growth in what are extremely important markets for the future.”