October 20, 2021
- Investors can pursue claims on due diligence statements
- Allegations on glyphosate safety, litigation risks fall short
Bayer AG investors adequately alleged the company misled them about the due diligence it conducted ahead of its acquisition of Roundup herbicide maker Monsanto Co., a federal judge in California said.
Investors also accused the pharmaceutical and life sciences firm of making misleading statements about the safety of glyphosate—Roundup’s active ingredient—and how Bayer accounted for post-purchase legal risks, but those allegations aren’t sufficient to move forward, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said.
Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto closed in 2018. “Before, during, and after the acquisition, Monsanto was, and remains today, embroiled in litigation alleging that the chemical glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup product, causes cancer,” Judge Richard Seeborg’s order said.
The investors adequately pleaded that Bayer made misleading statements and omissions about the due diligence it undertook prior to purchasing Monsanto. The company’s statements could have caused a reasonable investor to think that “Bayer had assessed Monsanto’s litigation risks, and had reviewed non-public information to inform that review,” Seeborg said.
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Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC represents the investors as lead counsel.
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