Bayer shares surged as much as 11% on Friday (August 9) on a report that the German company has proposed an $8 billion payout to settle more than 18,000 U.S. lawsuits related to its weedkiller Roundup.
Bayer acquired Roundup-maker Monsanto for $63 billion in June 2018 and the deal was off to a rocky start.
In August last year a California jury - in the first such lawsuit - found that Monsanto should have warned of the alleged cancer risks from it's herbicide Roundup.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) JUDGE SUZANNE RAMOS BOLANOS, SAYING: "Did Roundup Pro, or Ranger Pro fail to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would have expected when used or misused in an intended or reasonably foreseeable way?
Was the Roundup Pro, or Ranger Pro design a substantial factor in causing harm to Mr. Johnson?
Answer, yes." Since then, Bayer shares have lost more than a third, or roughly $34 billion in market value with thousands of lawsuits continuing to pile up.
In June Former NFL running back Merril Hoge, who played for the Steelers, sued the company - claiming his exposure to Roundup led to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2003.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH)MERRIL HOGE, FORMER NFL PLAYER SAYING : "I've been exposed to Roundup since I was a little kid on the farm at age 12.
It's been a part of everything I have done actually, as a kid and even an adult.
But the thing what probably most concerning and disturbing is that chemical still exists on our store shelves." Bayer claims extensive research has found the active ingredient in Roundup - glyphosate - to be safe.
But at a special annual meeting in April, a top Bayer executive admitted that the lawsuits were weighing on the company's bottom line.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) BAYER NON-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, WERNER WENNING, SAYING: "These legal procedures led to considerable drop in the price for the Bayer share which means you, dear shareholders, also had to endure losses.
We regret this very much." Now, according to media reports, Bayer's lawyers are seeking an accord to resolve all current and future cases.