FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German drugmaker Bayer <BAYGn.DE> sees no reason to re-assess the legal risks from newly acquired Monsanto after the U.S. unit was ordered to pay damages in a lawsuit over alleged links between weed-killer glyphosate and cancer.
“The safety assessment of glyphosate has not changed since the time of the acquisition. If that were to change and we were to find that something was missed during the due diligence we would act accordingly. But that is not the case,” Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann was quoted as saying by German daily Handelsblatt.
He was responding to a question on whether the legal risks from glyphosate would have to be reviewed.
However, he added that the full extent of the current glyphosate litigation was not foreseeable when Bayer assessed the value of Monsanto, according to the interview published on Thursday.
Bayer completed its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto in June. Bayer shares have lost more than 10 percent since Monsanto was ordered this month to pay $289 million in damages in the first of possibly thousands of U.S. lawsuits over claims it did not warn of the cancer risks of glyphosate-based weedkillers such as Roundup.
Bayer has vowed to appeal the verdict, saying it was at odds with scientific evidence and regulators’ conclusions.
Bayer was due to hold an analyst call on the glyphosate litigation at 1200 GMT.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Susan Fenton)