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Value of Bayer's Shares Rise as Glyphosate Lawsuit Settles
USAgNet - 05/28/2020

Bayer AG has reached verbal agreements to resolve a substantial portion of an estimated 125,000 U.S. cancer lawsuits over use of its Roundup weedkiller, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The deals, which have yet to be signed and cover an estimated 50,000 to 85,000 suits, are part of a $10 billion Bayer plan to end a costly legal battle the company inherited when it acquired Monsanto in 2018, the people said.

While some lawyers are still holding out, payouts for settled cases will range from a few million dollars to a few thousand each, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren't authorized to speak publicly, reports Fortune magazine.

A surge in Roundup claims, along with some big court losses, have weighed on Bayer since the Leverkusen, Germany-based company spent $63 billion to buy agricultural giant Monsanto -- which developed the weedkiller. The shares have dropped about 40% since the deal closed two years ago, wiping out some $39 billion of Bayer's market value.

Bayer is likely to announce the settlements, which need approval from the company's supervisory board, in June, people familiar with the negotiations said. None of the deals are signed, though plaintiffs' lawyers are expected to do so the day of the announcement, the people said.

Bayer has said it will earmark $8 billion to resolve all current cases, including those held in abeyance, according to some of the people familiar with the settlements. The deals so far involve many of the strongest claims against the company, the people said. It's unclear how much would go to those who have now settled and what's left for the holdouts.

Another $2 billion will be set aside to cover future suits linking the weedkiller to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, people familiar with the talks said.

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