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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Xetra  >  Bayer AG    BAYN   DE000BAY0017

BAYER AG

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Bayer : says Monsanto's list of influential people was not illegal

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09/05/2019 | 08:00am EDT
FILE PHOTO: Protests ahead of German drug and crop chemical maker Bayer's annual general meeting

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer said a law firm it commissioned to investigate lists compiled by Monsanto of European journalists, politicians and researchers had found no evidence of illegal behaviour.

French prosecutors in May opened an inquiry after newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint alleging Monsanto, which was bought by Bayer for $63 billion (£51 billion), had kept files of influential people in a bid to sway public opinion on its pesticides.

"There is no question that the ... stakeholder lists created were detailed, methodical, and designed to strongly advocate Monsanto's positions to stakeholders and to the public," Bayer quoted the report by law firm Sidley Austin as saying.

"But ... we did not find evidence to support the French media's allegations regarding the illegality of the stakeholder lists," it said, quoting the report. "There was also no evidence that the lists were based on illegal 'surveillance' of individuals, as claimed by the media."

Bayer faces potentially heavy litigation costs from U.S. lawsuits in which plaintiffs claim its Roundup weedkiller, which contains glyphosate, causes cancer, which Bayer disputes.

The group has suffered setbacks in its fight for acceptance of the product in Europe. Its home country of Germany will ban glyphosate from the end of 2023 and Austrian lawmakers have also voted to end its use.

Direct glyphosate sales play only a limited role for Bayer, but it relies heavily on selling seeds to U.S. and Latin American farmers for crops that withstand the weedkiller.

The 1,475 people on the lists came from a range of mostly European countries including France (466), Germany (202), Poland (152), Spain (144), Great Britain (93), Bayer said.

It added all individuals were informed by the law firm between May 31 and Aug. 9, 2019.

The lists were created in late 2016 and 2017 by public relations agency FleishmanHillard on behalf of Monsanto.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Thomas Seythal and Edmund Blair)

By Ludwig Burger

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Financials (EUR)
Sales 2019 46 067 M
EBIT 2019 8 274 M
Net income 2019 3 199 M
Debt 2019 37 472 M
Yield 2019 4,17%
P/E ratio 2019 21,2x
P/E ratio 2020 13,9x
EV / Sales2019 2,19x
EV / Sales2020 2,06x
Capitalization 63 469 M
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Spread / Highest target 80,5%
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NameTitle
Werner Baumann Chairman-Management Board
Werner Wenning Chairman-Supervisory Board
Wolfgang U. Nickl Chief Financial Officer
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