LEVERKUSEN—Bayer is seeking public relations support for the upcoming float of its plastics business, which is expected to be one of Europe's biggest IPOs in several years.

The move comes amid the German company's shift away from drugs and chemicals to focus more on life sciences. Bayer Material Sciences, one of the world's largest makers of high-tech polymers, reported sales of more than €11bn in 2013, and is expected to float by 2016 at the latest.

Bayer brand, communications and government relations head Herbert Heitmann confirmed the search, which comes after the company hired Burson-Marsteller and FTI Consulting for wide-ranging global reputation support.

The two firms were selected following a competitive review that included one other consultancy, said Heitmann, who added that both firms "showed best experience in their respective areas and strong creative potential and good processes."

The duo will focus on supporting the company's 'Better Life' corporate mission, along with ongoing issues management.