Bayer sees drop in shares amid ongoing weedkiller cases
Bayer shares dropped as much as five percent yesterday after a U.S. judge rejected its plan to try and limit the cost of future class action claims that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer.
The company is questioning the future sale of glyphosate-based products to consumers in the U.S. and plans to settle around 30,000 legal claims, according to Reuters.
This comes after the judge called Bayer's plan to end years of litigation "unreasonable" on Wednesday.
"We will continue to assess financial risks as we move forward," finance chief Wolfgang Nickl was reported as saying in an analyst call when asked if the estimate of the potential financial burden had been revised.
Bayer will be spared payouts related to future cases it had outlined in its plan for this year and next but will continue to set aside billions for the risk of further claims, according to the news source.
Investors were less optimistic, with shares falling as much as 5.3% and trading 4% lower at 1044 GMT.
The company will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the losses suffered in jury trials and appellate courts which came despite the product being deemed safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“We are determined to resolve the Roundup litigation and minimize the risk to our company from the existing and potential future lawsuits,” Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann was reported as saying.
Bayer acquired Roundup with its $63 billion purchase of Monsanto in 2018.
Announcing a new plan after the ruling, Bayer said it “will immediately engage with partners to discuss the future of glyphosate-based products in the U.S. residential market,” which accounts for most cancer claims.
Demand for the herbicide has remained robust throughout the litigation, Bayer added.