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Pesticide Giants Get $2 Billion UK Taxpayer COVID-19 Bailout Despite Mammoth Dividend Plans

Chemicals manufacturers BASF and Bayer have been given enormous payouts of  Covid-19 support cash from the British government just weeks after announcing plans to distribute billions to shareholders in dividends.

The world’s largest chemicals company BASF, which makes agricultural, industrial and automotive products at its eight UK plants, has received £1 billion in support funding — by far the biggest payout so far agreed under the UK scheme.

The news comes just weeks before BASF shareholders will vote  on a proposal for the company distribute to more than three times that amount to them in dividends, the chemicals giant confirmed to Unearthed.

Meanwhile Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018 and is one of the industry’s biggest players in its own right, was handed £600 million – the same amount given to troubled airlines Ryanair and easyJet to much fanfare.

The Bayer bailout, disclosed by Bank of England this afternoon in its latest update on its COVID corporate financing facility, happened just weeks after shareholders approved a plan to distribute dividends worth £2.75 billion.

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