Bayer to cut tenth of global workforce, increase ag focus

November 30 , 2018

Germany-based Bayer reportedly plans to cut around 12,000 jobs globally following its recent takeover of U.S. company Monsanto.

The cuts will account for about one in ten workers globally, with a “significant number” going in Germany, the BBC reported.

Bayer will also sell brands including Dr Scholl’s foot care and Coppertone sunscreen, as well as its animal health division which could be worth up to US$8 billion.

Shares in the German drug giant have fallen more than a third this year, with investors fearing the ramifications of some 9,000 lawsuits brought over the alleged carcinogenic effects of Monsanto weedkillers.

In August Bayer shares dropped sharply after a US ruling linking glyphosate to cancer. Glyphosate, which Bayer says is safe, and is one of the most commonly used weed killers in the world, is used in Monsanto’s Roundup and RangerPro.

The US$66 billion merger with Monsanto in 2016 created the world’s biggest seeds and pesticides company.

Its decision to sell its animal health business means Bayer will now focus on pharmaceuticals, consumer health and crop science. More than 4,000 jobs in the combined crop science division will go by the end of 2021, the BBC reported.

“These changes are necessary and lay the foundation for Bayer to enhance its performance and agility,” Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann was quoted as saying.

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