In St. Louis visit, Bayer CEO defends company structure

In comments during a visit to Monsanto’s former headquarters, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann defended his company’s corporate structure despite calls from analysts to break up the German conglomerate as its share prices tumble.

The comments came last week during Baumann’s visit to the former Monsanto campus in Creve Coeur, Reuters reports, but the remarks were embargoed until the chief executive returned to Germany at week’s end.

Bayer, which bought Monsanto for $63 billion, has seen its shares lose a quarter of their value since a jury ruled in August that Monsanto’s weedkillers were responsible for a man’s terminal cancer. About 8,700 similar cases have been filed.

Bloomberg reported last month that Bayer was considering strategic options for its animal health division.

Baumann said he would reveal “measures to enhance group performance” at an event next month and that Bayer’s “individual divisions can hold their own against stock-market listed companies.”

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