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Merck KGaA to hold shareholder meeting online, confirms dividend

·1-min read

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Drugs and chemicals maker Merck KGaA <MRCG.DE> on Monday became the second German blue-chip company to move its annual shareholders' meeting online after the government laid the ground for such a switch last week.

"Merck will seize the opportunity created by legislators to hold the 2020 annual general meeting in a virtual format - not least to allow for a payout to shareholders of the dividend that was proposed for the 2019 business year as soon as possible," a spokesman told Reuters.

Merck earlier this month proposed https://www.merckgroup.com/investors/reports-and-financials/earnings-materials/2019-q4/en/2019-Q4-Press-Release-EN.pdf a dividend of 1.30 euros ($1.44) per share.

Larger gatherings have been banned or cancelled across the globe for fear of spreading the coronavirus.

The new AGM date will be announced as soon as organisational hurdles have been cleared, the spokesman added.

Bayer <BAYGn.DE> on Friday was the first big German company to announce such a move.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Thomas Seythal)