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Bayer more stringent in glyphosate settlement talks due to downturn


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The Bayer AG logo sits on the exterior of the drugmaker's offices in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.
Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

German drugs and pesticides company Bayer said the economic downturn due to the coronavirus has prompted it to take a tougher stance in talks to settle claims its glyphosate-based weedkillers cause cancer.

The pandemic has significantly slowed the mediation process, it said in a statement on Monday.

"The company will consider a deal only if it is financially reasonable and puts in place a mechanism to resolve potential future claims efficiently. 

Against the background of a looming recession and looking at, in part, considerable liquidity challenges, this applies now more than ever," Chief Executive Werner Baumann said.

The company added that fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 10.2% to 4.39 billion euros ($4.76 billion), beating average analyst expectations of 4.17 billion,  according to Refinitiv data.