FRANKFURT, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Activist investment fund Inclusive Capital Partners, run by hedge fund veteran Jeffrey Ubben, said on Monday it had acquired a 0.83% stake in Bayer, as the German drugs and agriculture group continues to suffer from a weak market value.
Inclusive Capital said in a statement it had acquired 8.18 million Bayer shares as of Jan. 5, which works out at about 407 million euros ($435 million) based on that day's closing price.
The Financial Times, which earlier reported Ubben's investment, said the stake was worth $500 million.
Bayer shares gained almost 4% on the news to their highest level in about a month. A spokesperson said the company does not comment on shareholders or how many shares they hold as a matter of principle.
The company's shares continue to be burdened by the threat of further litigation over alleged carcinogenic effects of its weedkiller Roundup, despite regulatory clearance that the product is safe to use.
Bayer' stock market value is about $50 billion for all its businesses including pharmaceuticals, consumer health products, seeds and pesticides, well below the $63 billion deal value for its 2018 takeover of Roundup-maker Monsanto.
Chief Executive Werner Baumann, who engineered the troubled Monsanto deal, in 2020 was given a new contract until 2024 and said at the time he would leave the company when that term expires.
($1 = 0.9354 euros)
Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Susan Fenton