Bayer’s CEO confirmed in an investor call Wednesday the German chemical giant is considering splitting its business units following poor financial results. Bill Anderson, who assumed the top post in June, told investors that, quote: “We are redesigning Bayer to focus only on what’s essential for our mission, and getting rid of everything else.” A streamlining of management is already in the works, as Anderson says Bayer will remove multiple layers of management and coordination by the end of next year.
While Anderson noted that Bayer ruled out splitting into three divisions, he added that a separation of either its consumer health or crop science divisions remain under evaluation. Sales in the agricultural business were level year-on-year at 4.6 billion dollars. Higher volumes in all regions, including double-digit increases for corn and soybean seed sales, were mostly offset by lower prices for glyphosate-based pesticides, leading to a 17-percent drop in herbicide sales.
Were Bayer to break up its portfolio, it would follow similar actions taken by Dow Chemical and DuPont after the two firms merged in 2017. The merged company spun off its agribusiness portfolio into Corteva in early 2019. Around this time, Bayer had completed its acquisition of Saint Louis-based Monsanto.