British consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser indicated Wednesday that bidding for the consumer healthcare unit of Merck had gotten out of hand, and so it decided to step aside. By dropping out it would appear to leave Germany's Bayer as the likely buyer for the unit.
When bidding wars get hot, that often springs information leaks. The latest is that there is some swap-and-shop haggling going on between Bayer and Merck over Merck's consumer health business. That, at least, is what sources are telling Reuters.
Germany's Bayer has been on the sidelines while other Big Pharma players have been striking deals to expand or refocus. But that may not be for long with Bayer working on a couple of deals and thinking about unloading its plastics business to help pay for an expansion.
Merck has entered the home stretch with its consumer unit sale, and the deal may be even bigger than previous reports have hinted. According to Reuters, the unit could go for close to $14 billion--a number that could climb even higher as front-runners Bayer and Reckitt Benckiser duke it out.
With a final bid deadline looming, Merck & Co.'s consumer health unit still has several big-name pharma suitors. But Reckitt Benckiser, the Irish consumer specialist, may end up snatching the prize, Bloomberg reports.
Johnson & Johnson and Bayer's Xarelto made its way to the front of the new-age anticoagulant pack not long after hitting the U.S. market, gaining ground from rival Pradaxa to head what has since become a three-horse race. And that's ground its makers aren't ready to cede.
Chalk up a win for Bayer KGaA in its running battle in India over a compulsory license granted to Natco to produce a cheap knock-off of its cancer drug Nexavar. The drug is being sold in India but a high court there says that is as far as the Indian drugmaker can go with it for now.
German pharma giant Bayer got back-to-back bad news on two of its newest drugs, from two different countries, no less.
In the race to win FDA approval for a long-acting hemophilia A treatment, Novo Nordisk said its factor VIII therapy came through in a Phase III study, helping the Danish drugmaker play catchup in a three-way contest with Biogen Idec and Bayer.
The German drugmaker is feeling certain enough about a couple of potential hemophilia hits in its pipeline that it will spend nearly $700 million on new facilities in Germany that it says will add 500 jobs in its home country.