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Bayer cuts dividends to legal minimum to tackle debt burden

Bayer recently announced cuts dividends to legal minimum to reduce debt. Considering Bayer’s series of setback, question arose whether President Tharman will scrutinise Temasek’s losses in Bayer over the last 5 years.



GERMANY: Bayer AG (ETR:BAYGN), a prominent German company in the pharmaceutical and agriculture sectors, announced on Monday (19 February) that it will adjust its dividend policy for the next three years to meet the minimum legal requirement, aiming to alleviate its debt burden.

The decision, according to the company, was driven by the challenges posed by high debt, elevated interest rates, and a “challenging free cash flow situation”.

Chief Executive Bill Anderson emphasized the company’s commitment to debt reduction and increased flexibility, stating, “one of our top priorities is reducing debt and increasing flexibility.”

“Our amended dividend policy, which considered investor input and was not taken lightly, will help us do so.”

In line with the revised policy, Bayer intends to propose a dividend of 0.11 euros for the year 2023.

This marks a significant decrease from the 2.40 euros distributed the previous year, and it falls below the anticipated dividend of 1.92 euros, as per the consensus published on the company’s website.

In January, Bayer announced workforce reductions, and in November last year, it revealed that it was exploring options to dismantle its operations in prescription drugs, consumer health products, crop chemicals, and seeds.

This strategic move aimed to bolster the company’s battered share price.

As of Monday, the company’s shares, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, had fallen sharply to just 28.90 euros, reflecting a 50% decline in share value over the past year.

This also indicated a nearly 15% decrease in stock price (33.99 euros) since November 2023.  In June 2023, Bayer’s share price was around 52.33 euros.

This decline followed significant legal challenges and setbacks in drug development, placing increased pressure on Bayer’s leadership to articulate a comprehensive turnaround strategy.

Bayer’s Monsanto lawsuit

In January 2024, Bayer AG’s subsidiary, Monsanto, finalized settlements in nearly 100,000 Roundup lawsuits in the United States, amounting to an expenditure of approximately US$11 billion.

Despite these settlements resolving nearly 80% of the pending Roundup claims, a substantial number—potentially around 40,000 to 50,000 lawsuits—persist.

These cases revolve around individuals attributing their cancers to the controversial product, marking one of the company’s most significant trial losses related to the herbicide.

The ongoing legal challenges against Monsanto highlight concerns about Roundup’s carcinogenic properties.

Bayer faced a major legal setback in November last year when a Missouri Circuit Court ruled that Monsanto must pay a total exceeding US$1.5 billion to three former users of Roundup, a landmark decision that added to the company’s legal woes.

Further complicating matters, on 26 January this year, a Philadelphia jury awarded $2.25 billion in damages in a case linking Roundup to a cable technician’s blood cancer, marking the largest verdict yet in the extensive litigation over the popular Monsanto weed killer.

In anticipation of such legal challenges, Bayer had allocated more than $10 billion in 2020 to settle approximately 125,000 cases, many of which were consolidated in California.

According to Fortune, these recent developments intensify the challenges for Bill Anderson, who assumed the role of chief executive in June 2023.

Singapore sovereign fund Temasek invested in Bayer in 2018

In April 2018, Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek Holdings decided to invest in Bayer.

It bought a 3.6 per cent stake for 3 billion euros (approximately over S$4.3 billion ) at 96.77 euros per share at the time.

The money is used as part of Bayer’s plan to takeover Monsanto. Together with its existing holding in Bayer, Temasek would then own about 4 per cent in Bayer after the transaction.

By June 2018, with Temasek’s help, Bayer successfully acquired Monsanto to become the biggest seed and agricultural chemical maker in the world.

However, since the acquisition, lawsuits have been mounting in the US whether Monsanto’s  “Roundup” causes cancer.

Two months after Temasek helped Bayer to acquire Monsanto, in a landmark verdict in August 2018, Monsanto was ordered by a San Francisco court to pay US$289 million in punitive damages and compensatory damages. Bayer’s subsidiary, Monsanto, appealed several times, but lost.

A quick check on Temasek’s portfolio indicated that Singapore’s sovereign fund is holding on to Bayer’s share at 3% as of 31 March 2023.

Having purchased 3 billion euros worth of shares at 96.77 euros in 2018, the sovereign fund could now potentially face a loss of 67.87 euros per share, equating to roughly 70% of the initial 3 billion euros investment.

This amounts to about 2.1 billion euros or approximately S$3 billion of losses.

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Buy high sell low .

Who did the due diligence and who approved the investment?

No wonder one of their IB here mentioned as risk free. The risk taken is free of accountability.

All these failed investments added up will entail more shifting of CPF goalpost to suit their needs of money to cover the losses.


No wonder wife left her position to another safer position when husband about to end his extended throne

Tharman. Were you the one or was it pinkie’s wife who decide to lose $2.1 billion or 2 x 1000 millions.

Do you know that this amount can feed the whole country for 1 or 2 years without the need to do anything such as work?

Seriously, … if you’re paid a state secret salary plus untold perks and power, … never ever, having to account for your losses or strategies, … why is this even news and, so what if Temasek Charities loses a bloody fortune, so what !!!

And so what, if it’s proven to be, ultimately the peoples monies, … so what !!!

If the people gifts a regime a blank cheque, untold power “in the house” that incorporates unaccountability and opacity, … you’ll just have to live with it !!!