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Bayer shares up in tentative ruling for new trial in glyphosate case

Country : U.S., Germany

Keywords :
BERLIN, 12 Oct (APM) - Bayer stock gained 5% to €79 on Thursday after a California judge issued a tentative ruling for a new trial following a jury award of $289 million regarding weedkiller glyphosate's cancer risk, FAZ (p22), Handelsblatt (p19) reports on Friday.
A judge at San Francisco's Superior Court of California, Suzanne Bolanos, is considering whether to grant the company's motion for a new trial following the award of $250 million punitive damages to a man who claims glyphosate-based products manufactured by Monsanto caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (APMHE 59300).
The judge did not call into question the $39 million compensatory damages also awarded to the man.
Bolanos wrote that the plaintiff had "provided no clear and convincing evidence" of "malice or oppression" by Monsanto, a requirement for allowing a jury to award punitive damages.
Although this decision is not yet final, analysts said it could lead to a change of mood among investors who had raised concerns over Bayer's high exposure to litigation risk as the company faces more than 8,000 similar lawsuits in the U.S..

Bayer weighs selling animal health business

Bayer is weighing a sale of its animal health business as part of a broader review of its portfolio, Handelsblatt (p18-19) and FAZ (p22) report on Friday (APMHE 60095).
The sale could bring Bayer €6 to €7 billion, according to people familiar with the company.
The sale would be a logical step in Bayer's strategy, as the animal health unit is healthy but small and does not have a leading position in its segment, as it comes in clearly behind Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck & Co and Lilly, Handelsblatt writes.
As the animal health market is already highly concentrated, the only option for Bayer would be to sell to U.S. group Merck & Co, according to industry insiders. An initial public offering is seen as unrealistic in financial circles.

Delaware ruling on Fresenius-Akorn deal is 'significant decision' in M&A

The U.S. Delaware court ruling on the aborted deal between Fresenius and U.S. generic drugmaker Akorn is an "important and significant decision" in merger and acquisition jurispridence, reported Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Tuesday (p24).
"For the first time, the Delaware court of chancery has conclusively determined that a buyer has justifiably terminated a merger agreement due to the occurrence of a material adverse effect," U.S. law firm Gibson Dunn concluded in a report.
In the agreement, Fresenius and Akorn had agreed on clauses that would allow the company to annul the takeover in the event of serious negative changes.
However, these clauses are often vaguely formulated and, in an emergency, controversial, FAZ noted.
The ruling is all the more important because the Delaware jurisdiction is the one companies like to choose because of its 'industry-friendliness', FAZ said.

German health minister disappoints pharmacists

German health minister Jens Spahn disappointed pharmacists by not announcing any decision on a potential ban of prescription drug sales via mail order pharmacies in his opening speech at the pharmacists' congress on Wednesday, reported FAZ (p18), Handelsblatt (p12) and Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) (p5) on Thursday (APMHE 60100).
Spahn initially said in June he would disclose his plans for a potential ban as well as a 'complete package' for pharmacists' remuneration at the pharmacists congress.
Spahn provided no precise answers as to how he intends to deal with the ban which is promised in the ruling coalition agreement for 2018-2022.
Lawmakers must "quickly implement the ban" in order to protect 'brick and mortar' pharmacies from mail order suppliers, said Friedemann Schmidt, chair of pharmacists' association ABDA. "If something doesn't happen soon, we will end up in intensive care," he added.

Remaining Stada shares offered at €81.73

Buyout groups Bain Capital and Cinven, which already own 65% of generic drugmaker Stada, are offering €81.73 per share to buy remaining shares before 8 November, FAZ writes on Friday (p33).
Bain and Cinven, which spent €5.3 billion to acquire a majority stake in Stada in 2017, plan to delist the company from the German stock market (APMHE 59959).
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