Hoechst AG announced plans to sell all or part of its 45% stake in Clariant AG in the next month, as Hoechst continues to reshape its portfolio in anticipation of a merger with Rhône-Poulenc SA. Hoechst and Rhône-Poulenc plan to launch Aventis, an agricultural-chemicals and pharmaceuticals powerhouse, while divesting their industrial chemicals businesses.

The two companies also said they planned to accelerate the timetable for their merger, with completion of the deal expected by the end of November.