LEVERKUSEN, Germany (Dec. 6)—Bayer A.G. plans to sell its Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH polymer additives and PolymerLatex GmbH & Co. businesses, in line with a corporate restructuring through which it will combine its rubber, plastics and polyurethanes activities into one business unit. The plan to restructure into a management holding company with independent operating subsidiaries will cut the company's annual operating costs by $1.6 billion, the firm said. Merging the rubber, plastics, PU and coatings/colorants business groups will create one of the world's largest polymers companies, Bayer said, with sales of nearly $10 billion. Bayer is considered a world leader PU raw materials, coating raw materials, specialty rubbers, and engineering plastics. Selling Rhein Chemie and PolymerLatex is part of a plan to divest non-core businesses, Bayer said. Rhein Chemie posted 2000 sales of $345 million, about 35 percent of which was booked in North America, where it operates plants in Trenton, N.J., and Chardon, Ohio.