Bayer announces Monsanto integration can commence as shares continue to fall

German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG said Thursday it can now start integrating Creve Coeur-based Monsanto Co., which was acquired by Bayer for $63 billion earlier this year.

That purchase happened back in June, but Bayer had to hold off on integrating Monsanto while it completed divestments of some of its crop science business as demanded by regulators.

Further details of that integration, including branding and signage changes to Monsanto, will be addressed at a media event Monsanto is planning to host next Wednesday.

The integration stands on potentially shaky financial grounds as Bayer’s stocks plummeted this week in the wake of a jury ruling against Monsanto in a cancer case for its popular herbicide Roundup. Last week, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a man who claims exposure to Roundup caused his cancer.

By Monday, Bayer’s stock fell as much as 14 percent and lost about $14 billion in value. On Wednesday, shares in Bayer fell another 4.2 percent, plunging the overall drop to 18 percent — the lowest level for the company’s stocks in more than five years.

Last week’s verdict is the first of possibly thousands of U.S. lawsuits over alleged links between glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — and cancer.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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