Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Bayer cools prospect of imminent glyphosate settlement

Stock MarketsFeb 27, 2020 11:00AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG, arrives for the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen

By Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (Reuters) - German drugs and pesticides company Bayer (DE:BAYGn) was at pains on Thursday to quell expectations it was nearing an out-of-court settlement laying to rest claims its glyphosate-based weedkillers cause cancer.

Bayer said after publishing its earnings outlook for 2020 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 favor.

Shares in Bayer have shed a quarter of their value since mid-2018 when the company lost the first U.S. lawsuit claiming that glyphosate-based Roundup - acquired via Bayer's $63 billion takeover of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) that year - causes cancer.

"If we were to submit to the imperative of a deadline we would very likely not achieve the best outcome for our company and our shareholders," Chief Executive Werner Baumann told a news conference when asked if a settlement before Bayer's annual investor meeting on April 28 was on the cards.

While media reports have recently raised the prospect of a settlement, Bayer Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Nickl said recent endorsements underscored its decision not to make financial provisions for a deal beyond legal fees.

In December, the U.S. Justice Department said in a so-called amicus brief that a federal appeals court should reverse a lower court verdict finding Bayer liable in a Californian Roundup case. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also reaffirmed this year that glyphosate was safe.

"A significant likelihood and a measurability (of future payouts) has to be given and we, and also our auditors, have concluded this is not the case," Nickl said. "The amicus brief and the EPA decision played a role here."

Bayer also said on Thursday it was targeting growth in adjusted core profit of 7% to 9.6% this year, driven by sales of agriculture products and pharmaceuticals. That disappointed some who had been hoping for a more ambitious goal and Bayer's shares underperformed the broader German market on Thursday.


Bayer has denied claims Roundup - or its active ingredient glyphosate - cause cancer, saying decades of independent studies have shown it is safe for human use.

Major regulators, including those overseeing European and U.S pesticide markets, have deemed it safe but the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded in 2015 that glyphosate probably causes cancer.

Although Bayer would not be drawn on Thursday on the size of any likely settlement, Nickl said it had plenty of flexibility to fund any deal from future cash flow, 9.3 billion euros in gross proceeds from asset sales and, if necessary, bridge loans.

Nickl also said that based on average analyst predictions of a settlement worth about $10 billion, Bayer would not have to write down the value of the $63 billion Monsanto acquisition.

Bayer said the increase in the number of plaintiffs blaming its glyphosate-based weedkillers for their cancer had slowed somewhat, reaching 48,600 as of Feb. 6. The total more than doubled within three months to reach 42,700 by October 2019.

Shares in Bayer were 3.9% lower at 67.15 euros by 1420 GMT, underperforming the broader German market (GDAXI) which was down 3.3% along with other bourses on continued concerns about the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Analysts at brokerage Bryan, Garnier & Co said Bayer's outlook was not as upbeat as some market participants had hoped, even more so because it had not yet taken into account any impact from coronavirus.

Bayer said it was targeting earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) adjusted for special items and currency swings of 12.3 billion to 12.6 billion euros, up from 11.5 billion euros ($12.5 billion) in 2019.

Analysts had been expecting a target of 12.6 billion euros, based on a consensus posted on the company's website, or about 12.5 billion according to Refinitiv data.

The company's fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA rose 26.4% to 2.48 billion euros, as expected by analysts.

Bayer cools prospect of imminent glyphosate settlement

Related Articles

Bitcoin falls 8.4% to $49,228.82
Bitcoin falls 8.4% to $49,228.82 By Reuters - Dec 04, 2021

(Reuters) - Bitcoin dropped 8.4% to $49,228.82 at 20:01 GMT on Saturday, losing $4,514.87 from its previous close. Bitcoin, the world's biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, is...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email