Bayer Raises $1.6 Billion by Selling Most of Stake in Elanco

Bayer AG raised $1.6 billion by selling most of its stake in Elanco Animal Health Inc., shoring up cash as the German drugmaker faces legal bills over the weedkiller Roundup.

Bayer said Tuesday it sold 54.5 million Elanco shares at $30.25 each in a placement. Bayer has given the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase as many as 8.175 million more shares at the same conditions.

The German company obtained a 15.5% stake and $5.3 billion in cash in exchange for selling its animal-health business to Elanco earlier this year. Bayer repeated Tuesday that it plans to divest the remaining stake eventually.

Bayer is faced with higher legal costs to contain the fallout over Roundup. The company said in June it would pay as much as $10.9 billion to resolve litigation over the weedkiller. Separately, a federal judge recently refused to approve Bayer’s $650 million settlement of claims by about 2,500 U.S. cities, counties and ports over pollution from polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB.

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