Reuters reports that Bayer has issued an apology and will open an external legal investigation into attempts by Monsanto to influence journalists and politicians.
Bayer had to take action after French prosecutors opened an investigation following media complaints that Monsanto, which was purchased by Bayer last year, had compiled a file of 200 names of important personalities “in the hope of influencing their positions on pesticides.”
As Reuters points out, the acquisition of Monsanto has already cost Bayer a lot more than the $63 billion it paid for the U.S. ag-biotech company.
Since the recent, and costly, judgements in favor of the plaintiffs in two lawsuits alleging Roundup causes cancer, Bayer shares have fallen “more than 40 percent,” and at a recent shareholders meeting management was given a “rare rebuke.”
The Reuters story reports that today Bayer has “a market capitalization smaller than the price it paid for Monsanto.”
For their part, Bayer apologized for the behavior in a statement, and promised to cooperate fully. “This is not the way Bayer seeks dialogue with society and stakeholders,” the statement reads, “Bayer stands for openness and fair dealings with all interest groups.”
Patricia Weiss & Ludwig Burger, “Bayer hires law firm to investigate Monsanto stakeholder file issue,” Reuters, Date published: 05/12/2019, Date accessed: 05/13/2019.