Werner Baumann, Bayer Chief Executive Officer, tried to soothe the frayed nerves of investors after a recent jury award of $289 million during a trial regarding glyphosate. Baumann says the merger between Bayer and Monsanto still makes sense in spite of the challenges ahead.
Baumann told a German newspaper that there is “no reason to break out in nervousness” in the aftermath of the verdict on August 10th. In his first public comments since the decision, Baumann says, “The fact is that absolutely nothing has changed about the compelling logic of the Monsanto takeover, the potential value creation for our shareholders, the attractiveness of the agriculture market, and the goals we communicated.” The California court awarded damages to a school groundskeeper that claimed Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of allegations the herbicide causes cancer. Bayer has said it will appeal.
The verdict shocked case observers both inside and outside of Bayer in the first of what may amount to thousands of cases. While jury verdicts are typically either overturned or reduced, financial analysts say Bayer could still face as much as $5 billion in costs linked to cases involving glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup.