Reuters is reporting that Switzerland's Nycomed has made a €4 to 4.5 billion ($5.88 to $6.62 billion) bid for Solvay's drug unit, which has been on the market since May. Nycomed would draw on European "junk" bonds, $1 billion from Nycomed's owners and existing funds to finance the deal. The resulting company would have $6 billion in annual sales. Solvay's drug unit features treatments for cholesterol, hypertension, Parkinson's disease and hormone replacement therapies for men and women.
Previously, Nycomed and an unnamed Japanese firm were rumored to be eyeing the drug unit. Reuters' sources say the company has had several proposals and it's unknown whether Nycomed will face competition for the unit. Abbott Labs--Solvay's partner on its drug TriCor--and Takeda Pharmaceuticals have already publicly stated that they would not be interested in a deal. A source told Bloomberg that Nycomed's bid is part of a plan to set the company up for an IPO in 2011. A spokesperson for Nycomed declined to comment on the report, while Solvay said that no decisions have been made as of yet.