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J&J to retain all talc-related liabilities from litigation in US, Canada


(Reuters) — Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it has agreed to retain all talc-related liabilities arising from litigation in the United States and Canada and will “indemnify” newly formed consumer health unit Kenvue for all costs.

The statement came after the Financial Times reported earlier in the day that Kenvue had been named in claims that its talcum powder can cause cancer.

Kenvue had been named in at least seven talc lawsuits filed since the start of April, according to the newspaper, which cited regulatory filings and people familiar with the matter.

“As unequivocally and unambiguously stated, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to retain all the talc-related liabilities  —and indemnify Kenvue for any and all costs — arising from litigation in the United States and Canada. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and misleading,” Erik Haas, vice president of litigation, Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement.

The news comes as J&J seeks a valuation of up to $42.95 billion for Kenvue in its initial public offering.

Earlier this month, J&J agreed to pay $8.9 billion to settle tens of thousands of lawsuits alleging that talc in its iconic Baby Powder and other products caused cancer, dwarfing the company's original offer of $2 billion.

J&J has claimed that its talc products are safe and do not cause cancer.