Bayer CEO sketches the perfect takeover target

Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers recently sat down with Bloomberg and dropped a few tantalizing hints about his idea of the ideal takeover target. While Dekkers declined to speculate on a possible short list of candidates, the CEO also insisted that the pharma giant's pipeline was in fine shape, making an M&A deal optional. But, he said, "I would be open to making the company stronger if the right opportunity were to come."

The business news outfit, though, offered its own sample of possible targets that could fit Dekkers' description of a perfect match.

Clue number one: A "merger of equals" would help the healthcare unit, says Dekkers. Bloomberg followed up with three possible matches: Eli Lilly, the Big Pharma company run by a CEO who never misses a chance to adamantly swear off mega deals; Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has been romping and stomping in the clinic in recent times; and Amgen, now the world's undisputed biotech biggie now that Genentech is a unit of Roche.

Clue number two: Dekkers believes that acquiring a company the same size as Bayer, or snapping up smaller biotechs, makes more sense than trying to match Pfizer's $68 billion purchase of Wyeth.

"We're in a position where we don't have to do anything," Dekkers tells Bloomberg. "We have a relatively good pipeline compared with the rest of the industry, and we don't have blockbusters coming off patent either." Top near-term plans are to expand the approval of Xarelto and push ahead on VEGF-Trap Eye, which is partnered with Regeneron.

- read the Bloomberg article