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Bayer AG's (OTC: BAYRY) shares surged early Friday on Frankfurt stock exchange on rumors of possible settlements with tens of thousands of plaintiffs in its Roundup cancer case.
The pharmaceutical and agricultural products maker has set aside $8 billion for current cases and another $2 billion to settle any future cases, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Thursday.
Bayer is set to face its fourth jury trial in St. Louis on Friday in the case to determine whether glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can cause cancer, Reuters reported Friday.
The number of lawsuits against Bayer could increased to 85,000, the lead mediator in the case, Ken Feinberg told Bloomberg, as Bayer appeals the decision of the previous three juries that found it guilty.
The $10 billion amount set aside isn't fixed, Bloomberg noted, and could change depending upon how the talks with the petitioners go. Analyst expectations for the settlement have varied from as little as $4.5 billion to up to $12 billion.
The market would prefer for the German company to settle, Reuters noted, as "it would get rid of the problem in one go."
Bayer's shares traded 3% higher at $84.24 at press time in Frankfurt on Friday. The stock closed 4.05% higher at $21.59 a share in the otc market on Thursday.
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