May 15, 2020 / 6:35 AM / 20 days ago

France's Imerys in U.S. deal to resolve talc-related liabilities

PARIS (Reuters) - French manufacturing and minerals group Imerys SA (IMTP.PA), whose North America talc unit filed for bankruptcy after being drawn into cancer lawsuits, said on Friday it had reached an agreement to resolve those talc-related liabilities.

“Today’s announcement marks an important step toward a permanent resolution of historic talc-related liabilities,” said CEO Alessandro Dazza.

Imerys said the group’s contribution to the plan to resolve the issue would consist of a minimum cash payment of $75 million, and a further amount of up to $102.5 million subject to a reduction mechanism proportionate to the sale price for the assets of its North American talc subsidiaries.

Imerys said the agreement had been filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware and was expected to lead to a sale of the assets of its North America talc subsidiaries.

Imerys’ North America talc division filed for bankruptcy after being drawn into cancer lawsuits connected to Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ.N) baby powder.

Imerys and J&J have repeatedly denied the allegations about talc, saying numerous studies and tests by regulators worldwide have shown their talc to be safe.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Tom Hogue and Jason Neely

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