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Bayer eyes R&D cuts, as Monsanto deal raises question of focus

Published on 01/06/18 at 09:56am

When rumours first started rumbling about a mega-merger between Bayer and Monsanto, one of the major question marks was on how this would impact the pharmaceutical side of Bayer’s business.

Now that the merger is nearing completion, the answers should begin to trickle out based on decisions subsequently made and Bayer’s restructure plan for its R&D operations in pharma might well be one of the actions that raises this question again.

Wirtschaftswoche, a local newspaper, first announced that the company was looking to cut away approximately 1,000 positions from R&D – in a plan that, for reasons as yet unknown, is code named “Super Bowl”.

It was announced that the company would begin to look at how best to restructure the business in the early part of this month, with the positions expected to be lost from its German operations.

A spokesperson for the company said that it is continually revaluating its operations, suggesting there is no link between the extra burden placed on the company by the upcoming integration of the Monsanto business.

However, whether that will placate shareholders considered about the damage done to growth within the pharmaceutical side of the business remains to be seen.

Already, the company moved to restructure the pharma business, after bringing all R&D into one unit and providing it with one overall leader, in the form of Joerg Moeller.

Moeller only officially took the reins in his position at the beginning of the year and the cuts may well be part of a directive to make the R&D business leaner.

Ben Hargreaves

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