Two major investment firms, Temasek Holdings and Alatus Capital, are calling for Bayer CEO Werner Baumann to step down after the company’s value has plummeted since it acquired Monsanto, primarily due to billions paid in the Roundup litigation.
In 2018, Bayer bought Monsanto for $63 billion, which the two investment firms say turned out to be a bad deal for shareholders, since Monsanto was already facing thousands of lawsuits brought by former users of Roundup diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and other injuries.
The RoundUp settlements have cost Bayer $11 billion in jury verdicts primarily because the company failed to warn the public about the potential dangers of the weed killer.
Alatus issued a press release and called for Mr. Baumann's termination. "The Fund has been a long-term shareholder of Bayer but a change of leadership is now urgently needed. Mr. Baumann must take full responsibility for the failure of his leadership at the helm of the company and
his actions should not be ratified at the upcoming Annual General Assembly. Alatus believes that it isessential for all shareholders to exercise their voting rights, to defend their interests and act in accordance with their fiduciary duties."
Bayer is pinning its hopes that the US Supreme Court will reverse two jury verdicts and curtail future claims.
If the Roundup Supreme Court appeals are not successful, Bayer has told investors that it will move forward with a claims administration program to address future lawsuits, which could result in billions in additional payments and verdicts.
In addition, the company has announced that it will remove the active ingredient glyphosate from Roundup products sold to U.S. residential customers by 2023, to limit the future liability it will face.