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In February, we discussed in our blog titled “Document Due Diligence Gone Wrong – $63B Bayer/Monsanto Acquisition” in the lack of effort to execute a proper search and review of documentation by Bayer in their acquisition over inflated the acquisition price because of potential liabilities from the Roundup lawsuits.  The initial amounts are now starting to roll in – $10 billion agreement.

The settlement of Roundup cases in the US “will bring closure to approximately 75% of the current Roundup litigation involving approximately 125,000 filed and unfiled claims overall,” Bayer said in a news release.  “The company will make a payment of $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve the current Roundup litigation, including an allowance expected to cover unresolved claims, and $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation.”

The Monsanto PapersAs part of the discovery process during the litigation that preceded the settlement, Monsanto had to turn over millions of pages of its internal records. As they are now called, “The Monsanto Papers” and other court records (shared HERE), including documents regarding the company’s ghostwriting of an important paper published in the year 2000, and how the company used that “independent” scientific literature to promote and defend its herbicides.Our effort is not to project guilt or innocence in anyway.  But how did Bayer, in their efforts to value Monsanto, miss such a problem?  Potentially game-changing liability that will both cost them dearly in both money and credibility AND reduce revenues for Roundup in the future.

Lesson to learn

If acquising, know what you are buying.  If you are selling, know your potential exposure.  The window of time is never big enough, but what is needed is a tool and capability to interrogate and identify this potential risk.

InfoDNA Solutions has been focusing on this and bring technical and legal professionals and technology tools to create quick results.  No matter where this information resides – network drives, content management systems, cloud storage or all of them at once – the Topla product is here to bring them into a single view to tell you the truth.

Our research paper on this topic is available to future explain.