The German drug giant Bayer AG will sell off some of its best-known brands and cut 12,000 workers - about a tenth of its global workforce - to stabilize the company after it took over Monsanto earlier this year.

Bayer is facing around 9,000 lawsuits brought over the alleged carcinogenic effects of Monsanto weedkillers.  The controversial chemical glyphosate is in weed killers Roundup and RangerPro.  Bayer says it's safe, but a US court ruling linked it to cancer.

"With the measures we are taking now, we will manage to raise the performance and profitability of Bayer in a sustainable manner," the company's CEO Werner Baumann said.

The company says that German workers are likely to bear a "significant part" of job losses, will could generate a lot of resentment in a country that is sensitive to layoffs.  The company announced other moves, including: exiting the Coppertone sun-care and Dr. School foot-care segments, which it acquired from Merck four years ago; formulating plans to sell its animal health division, which could be worth up to 7 Billion Euros.

These moves would allow Bayer to focus on pharmaceuticals, consumer health, and crop science.