Bayer to cut 12,000 jobs after Monsanto takeover

Jeannie Matthews
December 2, 2018

The German pharmaceutical giant Bayer will cut 12,000 jobs globally and sell off a number of its businesses, after its takeover of agrochemical company Monsanto.

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.

Two months after the merger, a USA jury awarded $289 million to a man who sued Monsanto saying its Roundup weed killer gave him cancer.

It will get out of the business of animal health, and sell its 60% stake in Currenta, a company that provides services to chemical companies. Baumann repeatedly declined to say how numerous reductions would be in Germany overall.

Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann said the changes, which will cost the company more than €4bn to push through, "are necessary and lay the foundation for Bayer to enhance its performance and agility". "As in the past, we will implement the planned measures in a fair and responsible way".

Werner Baumann
Bayer to sell businesses, cut jobs in wake of Monsanto deal

Bayer will also divest its animal-health division, the No. 5 player in the industry, which analysts have said could fetch between €6-billion and €7-billion ($9.07-billion and $10.6-billion).

After the stock fell about 40 percent over the past year, Bayer has faced growing questions about how its disparate units will remain competitive. Another 350 pharma jobs will go as a result of a decision not to make use of a recently-completed manufacturing facility for haemophilia treatment factor VIII in Wuppertal.

The pharma unit will lose patent protection for its top two blockbuster drugs in the next half decade, and there's little in the way of new medicines to compensate. The consumer-health unit it beefed up four years ago with brands like Claritin has been limping along and is facing its third year of declining sales. But the company will also seek partners with experimental medicines that are already close to the market, he said.

At the consumer health and pharmaceuticals divisions, Bayer will take about €3.3-billion ($4.99-billion) in impairments and writeoffs the fourth quarter.

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