Elliott Management has said that German conglomerate Bayer could unlock about 30 billion euros in shareholder value once it ends litigation over its Roundup weedkiller.
Elliott, which has a 1.1 billion euro stake in Bayer, believes the company’s recent initiatives to bolster its response to the wave of lawsuits are a “step change.”
“While resolving the litigation challenge is clearly an immediate priority, Elliott believes Bayer could do more to maximize long-term value for all its stakeholders,” the activist said in a statement. “Bayer’s discounted share price today does not reflect the significant underlying value of its constituent businesses, or the potential value realization opportunity.”
Bayer has been facing immense legal pressure related to its acquisition of Monsanto and its Roundup herbicide. Specifically, 13,400 plaintiffs claimed that Monsanto’s weedkiller had given them cancer and other diseases. Bayer, however, said studies show no link between the chemical and cancer.
The German firm on Wednesday said it plans to create a supervisory board committee dedicated to handling the lawsuits, retaining Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom as legal counsel.
Some large shareholders have pressured Bayer to take a more proactive stance to resolve the lawsuits as well as consider strategic changes like a breakup of its pharma and crop science companies.
Bayer’s management and board are under pressure to win back shareholder trust after a majority of investors expressed a vote of no confidence in the leaders of the German conglomerate at a meeting in April.
Shares in Bayer closed up 2.2% on Wednesday in Germany.