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Sanofi eyes Actelion merger as J&J backs down

Published on 14/12/16 at 10:26am

After days of negotiations, Johnson and Johnson has stepped down from its attempts to acquire Swiss blood-pressure specialist Actelion, while Sanofi steps up to the plate with a reportedly larger valuation of the company.

After a series of increasing valuations beginning with an initial offer of $17 billion last month, J&J announced that both companies had failed to reach a deal which offered “adequate value” to shareholders after raising its offer to $27 billion; Actelion had rejected all offers as undervaluing its company. Actelion CEO Jean-Paul Clozel had previously been vocal over his desire for the company to remain independent; the company turned down a £12 billion takeover bid last year.

Clozel rejected a valuation of the company at 250 Swiss francs per share stating that he was confident the company could attract a higher offer; when talks were finished, the company’s shares closed at 208.50 Sqiss francs.

In the gap that is left, Sanofi have stepped up with an order reportedly worth $30 billion, though no company has confirmed any details and have refused to comment.

Both companies have been keen to gain control of Actelion’s portfolio, which includes pulmonary arterial hypertension treatments Opsumit and Uptravi.

Matt Fellows

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