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J&J reportedly poised to acquire Europe’s biggest biotech

Published on 25/11/16 at 12:34pm

Johnson & Johnson could be eyeing a takeover of Swiss biotech Actelion, Europe’s biggest biotech, according to insiders, Bloomberg has reported.

The pharmaceutical and consumer goods manufacturer has reportedly made an initial offer of $17 billion, while Actelion is looking into potential options, though there is no obligation for a transaction to take place.

While Actelion has attracted attention over the years as a prime target for acquisition, CEO and co-founder Jean-Paul Clozel has repeatedly reaffirmed the company’s stance to remain independent. Shire stands among the latest to have their eye on the company, placing an offer of $15.4 billion to snatch up the company in June last year which was shot down.

The Swiss firm’s shares have risen by 13% over the past year thanks in part to strong sales from its new pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) treatments Opsumit and Uptravi.

This is another in a sequence of big-money takeovers for J&J, as the company only recently agreed to acquire Abbott Medical Optics for $4.33 billion in September this year, after announcing earlier that it had set aside $18.5 billion in cash to use in targeted acquisitions.

Neither company has committed to comment on the rumours.

Matt Fellows

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