3M Co. shares rallied in the extended session Thursday after the materials and chemicals company said it would pay $10.3 billion to settle claims it was responsible for so-called “forever chemicals” in drinking water.
The nickname refers to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a group of a synthetic chemicals that do not easily degrade in the environment, and are widely suspected to contribute to serious health effects. 3M shares
rallied more than 4% after hours, following a 1% decline to close at $100.43.
3M said it will take a charge for the amount in the second quarter. The payments, over 13 years, are intended to fund PFAS detection and removal efforts in public water supplies, and resolve current and future drinking water claims, the company said.
“This agreement is not an admission of liability,” 3M said in a statement. “If the agreement is not approved by the court or certain agreed terms are not fulfilled, 3M is prepared to continue to defend itself in the litigation.”
Back in late May, 3M stock fell to a 10-year low after Dutch officials said they held the company liable for PFAS damage by a factory in Western Scheldt.
3M shares are down more than 16% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
of which 3M is a component, is up 2.4%.