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An agreement reached in June as part of a large settlement package with US plaintiffs on allegedly contaminated waters with the chemical PCB was rejected by the responsible federal district court in Los Angeles. A corporate spokesman confirmed this at the beginning of the week. The court’s decision had already been made last week. Meanwhile, the group is selling a large part of its shares in the US veterinary specialist Elanco, which it received through a divisional sale – and, according to information on Tuesday, is collecting billions for this.Bayer shares are currently 1.39 percent up in XETRA trading at EUR 48.94. For the Elanco shares sold, the group had to accept only a small discount to the last closing price of 30.59 dollars at US $ 30.25 per security. After a disappointing performance in the current year, Bayer shares have lost around a third of their value. In addition to the Corona crash in spring, the weak outlook at the beginning of October also caused disillusionment.
For the 54.5 million Elanco shares, 1.65 billion dollars (1.38 billion euros) will now flow into the corporate coffers. In addition, Bayer has agreed that almost 8.2 million more shares could change hands in the next 30 days.
With the sale of its own veterinary medicine division to Elanco at the beginning of August, Bayer received almost $ 5.2 billion in cash as well as 72.9 million shares in Elanco – that corresponds to a stake of around 15.5 percent in the Americans. Bayer had already announced that it would sell the package again.
With the sale, Bayer received money that the group could use well in view of expensive comparisons for the seed division, said a dealer. Bayer announced a large-scale settlement in the summer for US legal disputes relating to the acquired seed company Monsanto. Up to $ 9.6 billion are earmarked for existing lawsuits related to the weed killer glyphosate.
Bayer is grappling with several legal proceedings in the United States. The judge responsible in the PCB case for allegedly contaminated waters refused to agree to the compromise between the parties to the dispute. Among other things, he criticized the fact that the agreed compensation payments were “modest” and that the provisions on future liability issues were “vague”. Bayer stated that it wanted to revise the settlement draft with the plaintiffs. The court granted time for this until the end of the year.
Bayer had actually agreed with the plaintiffs on a payment of 650 million dollars (545 million euros) to settle the largest PCB case in the United States. The legal dispute concerns environmental damage that occurred decades ago – part of the various legal legacies that Bayer took over in 2018 with the $ 63 billion purchase of Monsanto.
In the PCB proceedings, Monsanto is accused of hiding the devastating effects of the toxic pollutants on nature and living beings for decades. From 1935 to 1977, the company was the only manufacturer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in the USA. In 1979 the chemical was banned there. In Germany, PCBs have not been allowed to be used since the late 1980s.
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