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Bayer reported inching toward glyphosate settlement

(Dave Bedard photo)

Reuters — Bayer has agreed on draft settlement terms with half a dozen law firms representing tens of thousands of plaintiffs alleging that its Roundup herbicide causes cancer, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Shares of the German drugs and pesticides company have come under immense pressure since it lost the first U.S. lawsuit claiming that glyphosate-based Roundup, acquired via its takeover of Monsanto in 2018, causes cancer.

Last month, the company said it was in no rush to reach terms with plaintiffs’ lawyers and was less inclined to set aside funds for any deal following recent U.S. decisions in its favour.

Bayer had also said that based on average analyst predictions of a settlement worth about $10 billion, the company would not have to write down the value of the $63 billion Monsanto acquisition (all figures US$).

The settlement still appears poised to end up around $10 billion, the WSJ report said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

A formal deal hasn’t been signed and could yet fall apart, the report added.

“Mediation discussions continue in good faith under a court order requiring confidentiality and the company cannot comment on speculation about outcomes, timing or progress,” a Bayer spokesman told Reuters on Friday.

— Reporting for Reuters by Manojna Maddipatla in Bangalore.

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