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Bayer AG is set to announce on Wednesday it struck a roughly $10.5 billion deal to settle tens of thousands of lawsuits with U.S. plaintiffs alleging the company's Roundup herbicide causes cancer, a milestone in the German company's legal battle that has been weighing down its share price for nearly two years, according to a person familiar with the deal.
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Investors have long been waiting for a settlement to bring clarity over how much the legal battle will cost Bayer. Wednesday's deal follows months of heated talks between Bayer and plaintiffs' attorneys.
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Bayer, which also makes pharmaceuticals, inherited thousands of lawsuits against Roundup inventor Monsanto Co. when it acquired the U.S. agriculture giant in 2018. Three jury-trial losses tanked shares and sparked a revolt among shareholders angry at Bayer's management for plunging the company into one of the worst crises in its history with the $63 billion Monsanto acquisition.
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Bayer has argued that Roundup is safe and has repeatedly defended the Monsanto deal.