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Bayer job cuts to include 4,500 roles in Germany

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Bayer AG is seeking to eliminate about 4,500 positions in Germany under previously announced job cuts aimed at reshaping its business after the acquisition of Monsanto, people familiar with the company's plans said.

[BERLIN[] Bayer AG is seeking to eliminate about 4,500 positions in Germany under previously announced job cuts aimed at reshaping its business after the acquisition of Monsanto, people familiar with the company's plans said.

The German company is eliminating some 12,000 jobs around the world - about 10 percent of its workforce - as it seeks to boost profitability after the US$63 billion Monsanto acquisition. Cuts in its home market, where labour protections are strong, will be politically sensitive and potentially costly.

Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann is under pressure to prove the deal will drive long-term growth despite a tidal wave of lawsuits in the US over glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's weedkiller Roundup.

A Bayer spokesman declined to comment on the job cuts. The shares were down 0.4 per cent Monday afternoon in Frankfurt.

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The cuts in Germany represent about 14 per cent of the company's total workforce of 32,100 in the country. About 3,000 represent positions in areas such as information technology and other administrative functions, which includes some jobs being cut in the agriculture unit in connection with the Monsanto acquisition, said the people familiar with the situation. They asked not to be named because the numbers had not yet been disclosed publicly.

The company has said the cuts will be put in place by the end of 2021. The 10 per cent total reduction includes about 4,100 positions worldwide at Bayer's agriculture unit, some 1,100 in its consumer health division, about 900 in research and development and 350 linked to closure of a German factory that had produced a treatment for hemophilia.

Though Mr Baumann has said the reorganization has nothing to do with the glyphosate lawsuits, Bayer's legal travails have made it even more imperative for him to prove the deal is an operational success. More than 11,200 people have sued with claims linking the chemical to cancer. So far there have been two jury trials; Bayer lost both. The company disputes any cancer link and has pledged to appeal both cases.

BLOOMBERG