LEVERKUSEN, Germany (Nov. 15)—Bayer A.G. plans to cut 5,300 jobs in its polymer businesses within three years—nearly triple the number disclosed a year ago—according to Chairman Werner Wenning. The reductions will be part of an accelerated cost-savings plan that calls for 15,000 job cuts overall by year-end 2005, up from 10,500 job losses previously announced. Most of the extra cuts will be from the group's polymer activities-ùplastics, rubber, polyurethanes and coatings. As many as 15 polymer business plants could be closed or sold as part of the plan. A year ago, when Bayer announced the reorganization of its polymers activities, it said it would trim about 1,800 polymer jobs. Wenning didn´t identify any facilities earmarked for closure, but did say Bayer's smaller urethane chemicals facilities were among the operations under review. Bayer Polymer A.G. will start up Jan. 1, 2003, with 22,000 employees and annual sales of about $11 billion.