Bayer has to pay out $81 million in damages to a man who claims the Roundup weedkiller caused his cancer, a jury ruled [March 27]. In a similar ruling last year, the sum was $289 million, reduced to $78 million on appeal. Since that first verdict, Bayer’s shares have lost 40% of their value—and there are still around 11,300 such cases waiting in the wings.
All of which begs the question: was it foolhardy for Bayer to buy Roundup maker Monsanto?
Some, including activist Bayer shareholder Christian Strenger, say indeed it was. Strenger has filed a motion of no confidence in Bayer’s board ahead of the German giant’s annual general meeting [in April 2019], and it includes a litany of complaints about the “almost complete failure to deliver the key objectives presented by [Bayer CEO Werner] Baumann in May 2016 for the Monsanto acquisition.”
A [Bayer] spokesperson insists that, in the run-up to the Monsanto acquisition, Bayer’s board “performed this risk assessment based on an information and update process which was in all respects adequate for an acquisition of such a scale.”
Read full, original article: As Bayer’s Roundup Cancer Costs Accumulate, Questions Linger About the Wisdom of Its Monsanto Merger