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Bayer stock continues rout after $2 bln award in Roundup trial

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Bayer stock continues rout after $2 bln award in Roundup trial

Bayer stock continues rout after $2 bln award in Roundup trial

Shares in Bayer fell as much as 5 percent on Tuesday after a jury awarded more than $2 billion to a California couple in the largest U.S. jury verdict against the company over allegations its Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

Pascale Davies reports.

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Bayer stock continues rout after $2 bln award in Roundup trial

A sharp tumble for Bayer on Tuesday after a U.S. jury awarded more than $2 billion to a California couple on Monday over allegations its Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

Shares at one point were down as much five percent- before clawing back some ground.

It's the U.S'.

Largest verdict against the company.

Bayer said it would appeal and analysts expect the fine will be reduced.

Still- the German company faces more than 13,000 other lawsuits in the U.S. And confidence in Bayer, which also makes pharmaceuticals, could be crushed.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "Bayer can cope with these compensation amounts but the problem is the loss of reputation and that's absolutely terrible.

When you consider that the U.S. environmental agency deemed glyphosate non-cancerous but that for the third time a jury ruled exactly the opposite then that's very difficult." Bayer acquired the glyphosate-containing weed killer as part of its $63 billion purchase of Monsanto last year.

But since the first lawsuit in August- when Bayer shares shed about 40 billion euros, its market value has fallen bellow what it paid for Monsanto.

And investor confidence has shrunk.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "I even see the danger of Bayer's shares dropping so much that it will become a takeover target." Under pressure to divest assets, Bayer said on Monday it had agreed to sell U.S. sun care brand Coppertone to Nivea owner Beiersdorf, for $550 million.




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