Bayer CEO Werner Baumann is seeking to avoid a no-confidence vote at the annual shareholders meeting that is scheduled for April 28. At last year’s meeting, the Bayer stockholders gave Baumann a no-confidence vote because of the acquisition of Monsanto in June 2018. This move could go down as the biggest economic blunder of the 21st century.
Bayer stock went from $32.74 per share on January 4, 2018 down to $17.31 per share on December 28, 2018. Losing $15 per share in just one year is absolutely devastating. Bayer forgot to do their research on Monsanto because people began to file lawsuits against Monsanto beginning in the summer of 2018 due to people contracting cancer from using the weedkiller RoundUp. In eighteen months, over 48,000 lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto.
However, Baumann has been attempting to regain the confidence of the shareholders before this meeting by looking to negotiate a settlement for the thousands of RoundUp lawsuits that would cost around $10 billion. Turning that unknown loss into a known liability would then allow for Bayer’s forecast to be better in the future.
Bayer attempted a Hail Mary pass a month ago when they donated three million hydroxycholorquine tablets to the USA for the purpose of fighting against Covid-19. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-bayer/bayer-donates-three-million-malaria-tablets-to-us-for-potential-use-against-coronavirus-idUSKBN21637E
If hydroxychloroquine would have worked against the coronavirus, then Bayer would have regained their losses from 2018 and 2019. Although the drug is effective against malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, the drug has not proven to be effective against Covid-19 in clinical trials. https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/04/03/small-trial-finds-hydroxychloroquine-is-not-effective-for-treating-coronavirus/