Bayer to pay up to $10.9 billion to settle Monsanto case

Bayer to pay up to $10.9 billion to settle Monsanto case

Bayer to pay up to $10.9 billion to settle Monsanto case

Roundup is owned by Bayer, after the German company bought the USA agrochemical company Monsanto in 2018.

The company said it will make a payment of US$8.8 billion to US$9.6 billion to resolve the current Roundup litigation, including an allowance expected to cover unresolved claims, and US$1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation.

Bayer said it would also pay up to $400 million to settle cases claiming that the weedkiller dicamba drifted onto plants that weren't bred to resist it, killing them.

Bayer shares are down 29 per cent since it close the Monsanto deal in June 2018.

In August, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay a combined $2.055 billion to a couple claiming that Roundup Ready caused their cancers. "Bayer will actively defend any and all claims concerning Roundup brought against it in Australian courts.we're fully committed to these crucial weed control technologies and that commitment's unwavering", Begemann said.

The Roundup agreements will resolve 75% of about 125,000 claims that have either been filed or were set to be, the company said in a statement.

Details: The $1.25 billion payment for future plaintiffs in a separate class agreement will also be used for research into National Hockey League treatment and diagnostics.

In the Roundup settlements, Bayer executives said the deal shouldn't affect its credit rating or dividend policy and that paying down its large debt load from the Monsanto transaction remains a "high priority".

Bayer said it expects co-defendant BASF - which also manufacturers a type of dicamba - to contribute towards the settlement.

The company has announced, too, a series of agreements that resolve cases representing most of the company's exposure to PCB water litigation.

Glyphosate is an herbicide that is also the active ingredient in Roundup.

Access to Roundup products won't change, but Bayer said it would continue to offer customers more herbicide options through its 10-year investment in developing new methods to manage weeds to support sustainable agriculture.

The settlement provides "a process to stop everything while the scientific claims are established", Loyola's Zimmerman said. Since then, thousands of USA lawsuits have been filed against the company.

Bayer faced a surge in new lawsuits past year after it lost the USA jury trials, and investors issued a rare rebuke to Baumann last spring.

The law firm's national head of class actions Andrew Watson said the United States settlement had no direct impact on the Australian cases because it was made without admission of liability.

It comes after a USA jury in February awarded $265 million to Missouri peach farmer Bill Bader who accused the two companies of encouraging farmers to use the weedkiller irresponsibly. And Bayer's management team may not be safe, he said.

Still, given the Roundup settlement's hefty price-tag, investors may continue to question whether the Monsanto takeover will ever be worth what Bayer paid, Markus Mayer, an analyst at Baader Bank, said via email.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in January that a regulatory review of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is not a carcinogen.

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