Date
12 December 2018
Bayer plans to divest some brands and reduce its workforce in a major cost-cutting drive following its acquisition of Monsanto. Photo: Bloomberg
Bayer plans to divest some brands and reduce its workforce in a major cost-cutting drive following its acquisition of Monsanto. Photo: Bloomberg

Bayer to sell businesses, cut jobs after Monsanto deal

German drugmaker Bayer announced plans to sell some businesses in a cost-cutting drive that includes around 12,000 job cuts, as the firm reviews its operations following its takeover of US seed company Monsanto.

The group said on Thursday that it is looking at options – that could include a sale – for the Coppertone sunscreen and Dr. Scholl’s foot care products from the consumer healthcare division it bought from Merck in 2014, Reuters reports.

It will also divest its animal health division, the number five player in the industry. 

The unit, the largest maker of flea and tick control products for cats and dogs and a supplier of livestock veterinary drugs, had sales of 1.57 billion euros in 2017, accounting for about 4.5 percent of group revenues.

Bayer will also seek a buyer for its 60-percent stake in German chemical production site services provider Currenta.

The asset sale plans come as Bayer is under pressure to boost its share price after a drop of more than 35 percent so far this year, dragged down by concern over a slew of lawsuits it faces over an alleged cancer-causing effect of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, Reuters noted.

Under a cost-cutting program that will also target synergies expected from the US$63 billion acquisition of Monsanto, Bayer will cut around 12,000 of its 118,200 jobs worldwide.

At the Consumer Health and Pharmaceuticals divisions, Bayer will take about 3.3 billion euros in impairments and write-offs the fourth quarter.

The consumer healthcare unit, which sells non-prescription treatments, has faced falling revenues as US consumers went from established drugstores to online shops, often switching to cheaper brands.

In the first nine months of 2018, Bayer consumer health products’ sales declined by 0.4 percent when excluding currency swings, following a drop of 1.7 percent in the full year of 2017, according to the report.

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