Shareholders rebuke Bayer bosses over Monsanto-linked stock rout

By Ludwig Burger BONN (Reuters) - Bayer shareholders on Friday cast a vote of disapproval of the German drugmaker's top management amid anger over a stock price slump as litigation risks mount from the $63 billion takeover of seed maker Monsanto. A Bayer spokesman said a majority of shareholders at its annual general meeting voted against ratifying the board's business conduct during 2018. Such a vote features prominently at every German AGM and is largely symbolic because it has no bearing on management's liability or tenure, but it is seen as a key gauge of investor sentiment.

Reuters April 27, 2019 03:05:40 IST
Shareholders rebuke Bayer bosses over Monsanto-linked stock rout

Shareholders rebuke Bayer bosses over Monsantolinked stock rout

By Ludwig Burger

BONN (Reuters) - Bayer shareholders on Friday cast a vote of disapproval of the German drugmaker's top management amid anger over a stock price slump as litigation risks mount from the $63 billion takeover of seed maker Monsanto.

A Bayer spokesman said a majority of shareholders at its annual general meeting voted against ratifying the board's business conduct during 2018.

Such a vote features prominently at every German AGM and is largely symbolic because it has no bearing on management's liability or tenure, but it is seen as a key gauge of investor sentiment.

Bayer's non-executive supervisory board, in turn, won a majority of the votes ratifying its business conduct during 2018, the spokesman said.

About 30 billion euros (26 billion pounds) have been wiped off Bayer's market value since August, when a U.S. jury found the pesticide and drugs group liable because Monsanto had not warned of alleged cancer risks linked to its weedkiller Roundup.

Bayer suffered a similar defeat last month, while more than 13,000 plaintiffs are claiming damages.

Bayer is appealing or plans to appeal the verdicts and has pointed to global regulators' findings that the use of glyphosate is safe.

No incumbent executive board members at companies listed in Germany's blue-chip index DAX has flunked the vote, meaning receiving an approval vote of less than 50 percent at an AGM.

In a recent low for a company leadership team, former Deutsche Bank co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen scored approval ratings of about 61 percent during the bank's 2015 AGM. Both announced their resignation within weeks.

Top 20 Bayer investors who earlier on Friday said they would cast a 'no' vote included Deka Investment and Union Investment.

This month, shareholder advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis recommended investors not to give the executive board their seal of approval.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by James Dalgleish)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.