Major operations continue in the chemical industry in Europe. Despite the international context, the sector continues to restructure and we are talking again about Monsanto and its pesticide Roundup
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The case is resurfacing through Bayer. The German chemical and pharmaceutical group is struggling to swallow the purchase, four years ago, of Monsanto, the much maligned pesticide manufacturer. The operation had cost the modest sum of 60 billion dollars, some 55 billion euros.
The operation is far from over for Bayer. Since 2018, the German firm has sold assets to pay off the debt linked to this large acquisition. Last operation to date: the German offloads its branch specializing in non-agricultural pesticides, that is to say fungicides intended for gardens and green spaces of individuals. This activity of Bayer today represents a turnover of 600 million euros and employs 800 people worldwide. Sale price: 2.5 billion euros.
It is a British investment fund (Cinven) which will take over the whole. This is not the first time that Bayer has sold assets to compensate for the costly takeover of Monsanto. The German has already sold its animal health branch for six billion euros, then other consumer brands, in cosmetics in particular for four billion. Bayer fails to lower its colossal debt which today is close to thirty billion euros. The takeover of Monsanto in 2018 pursues Bayer like a black cat, in particular with the cost of legal proceedings in the United States.
The soap opera continues. The costs related to this lawsuit amounted in 2020 to 23 billion euros and in Bayer’s 2021 financial year the amount fell to four billion. The charge remains significant and is felt on the stock market. Five years ago, the Bayer title was worth one hundred euros. It is only worth 54 today.
Roundup remains hard to swallow, including for shareholders.