LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer AG said it had appointed the investment banks Credit Suisse First Boston and Deutsche Bank to advise the company on strategic options. Bayer said the strategic review was not aimed at fending off a hostile takeover bid, and that rumors that the company “is working on defense strategies against hostile takeovers are misinterpretations of normal strategic evaluations.”

Analysts said a hostile move on Bayer could be triggered by a move to exploit the growth potential of the company’s pharmaceuticals business. Unlike other European chemical-and-pharmaceuticals companies, Bayer has kept its diverse holdings intact rather than divest chemicals businesses to concentrate on the faster-growth pharma sector.