Since the Acquisition of the US competitor Monsanto, the agricultural chemical and pharmaceutical group Bayer in the stock market drastically lost value. The share price fell in the past year, by up to 40 percent. In addition, because of the potential carcinogenic effect of the plant protection product glyphosate high pain money payments could have on the group.
last Friday, the shareholders deprived of the shareholders of the group’s management of the trust: 55.5 percent is not relieved of the management Board to the group chief Werner Baumann at the annual General meeting of the Bayer group. Christian Strenger, the former head of the Fund company DWS and expert in good corporate governance, had you called prior to the Meeting. The Board have made serious mistakes, says a Strict, self-Bayer shares.
TIME ONLINE: Mr. Strict, throw what you the Bayer Board of management?
Christian Strenger: the performance of The Board in the matter of Monsanto and in other areas was simply not good enough to justify a discharge. In addition, the shareholders have not understood the decision of the Supervisory Board, to grant the Chairman of the Board, Baumann a 25 percent higher short-term Bonus.
The Board has a lot of used too long, the Takeover by Monsanto. In addition, the group should have expected leadership in order that Bayer after the Monsanto Deal is forced to cartel-related sales. The Board has not managed to bring Monsanto to provide insight into the before the purchase is complete, pending 3.500 lawsuit cases. Also, he has accepted a much to high price for the Takeover.
TIME ONLINE: The vote of no confidence to the main hearing has no mandatory consequences. Several large shareholders that voted against the discharge of the Executive Board, want to give the Executive a second Chance. What do you think, should the Board back?
75, is the co-founder of the government Commission for corporate governance and Professor at the Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL). Strict boss of the Fund management company DWS was also sitting on the Supervisory Board of the asset Manager. Here he is but not in this function.
Strict: no, but the Bayer Board of management is now on probation. Chairman of the Board Werner Baumann, in accordance with the vote under particular pressure. He needs to make Bayer more profitable again, and we hope that the processes in the United States better.
It’s also about empathy: Baumann would have to say, it didn’t work out. Instead, he has said that stock prices were irrational. You have to calculate the time: The value of Bayer is below the price that the group for Monsanto has paid for. We shareholders have lost a lot of money. We want to see – and not just in ten years.
TIME ONLINE: critics say the group should have let the shareholders at the time of the Monsanto Acquisition of the vote. How much the group have grown tip and shareholders?
Strict: A survey of the shareholders would have at least brought clarity as to whether the shareholders want a Takeover. The Deal was from the beginning very controversial, and we now know that the skepticism was justified. If the shareholders had, at the time, agreed to the Takeover, it would have been of the Board of Directors today much easier. But now, the Board members sitting there with the Disaster alone, and explain again and again, to have done everything right. The top management of the group has even two opinions, and to attest to the Board of Directors, to have its obligations met. But the us shareholders are not convincing. The opinion we were never in the original form but in summaries.
TIME ONLINE: The Supervisory Board has strengthened in the evening, after the AGM, despite the mistrust of the shareholders the Board on the back. The panel defended the procedure in the case of the Monsanto Takeover. Why are the checkers, in spite of all the criticism behind the Management?
Strict: What remains of the Supervisory Board left? If the Supervisory Board would deprive the Board of the trust, that would be an admission of his own miscalculation. The thought that the Monsanto Takeover was a good Deal.
The Supervisory Board, it is currently missing a convincing competence. Experts in the body, the the Monsanto-business and its legal effects understand really need. For this reason, and because of the bonuses for the Executive Board, I have not called for at the annual General meeting to discharge the Supervisory Board. But in the end, 34 percent of shareholders have refused the control panel of the trust. This was also a warning that it needs to be better.
TIME ONLINE: environmental activists in the Monsanto-developed plant protection products, glyphosate is a danger to nature and health. You are suing Bayer, the environmental consequences of his trade, not interested, and protested on the sidelines of the annual General meeting against the group. Can you understand the criticism?
Strict: This is not my field. So other experts need to deal with. But here, there is the issue of Reputation. Baumann thought the good reputation of Bayer to buy Monsanto transferred. Now the Reverse is happening: The reputation of Monsanto has added to Bayer in Europe, significant harm.
TIME ONLINE: Was the Monsanto Deal a mistake?
Strict: as far As I don’t want to go. But it was a nasty experience.
TIME ONLINE: The Monsanto-has added to the Deal, Bayer is probably the most severe crisis in its recent history. Some analysts warn that Bayer itself could be a takeover target of investors. How bad it is?
Strict: I think Bayer is strong enough to get through this. The question of what a weakened Form? Currently, a split may be unlikely.