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Actelion acquisition hokey-cokey continues with J&J returning to table

Published on 22/12/16 at 10:41am

The Actelion takeover saga continues with Johnson & Johnson back in the game, and now re-entering into exclusive negotiations. Actelion had previously been engaged in discussion with Johnson & Johnson before negotiations broke off, with Sanofi entering into the arena. The about-turn by Actelion suggests that the terms Sanofi had offered were less than what was hoped and so discussions have begun again.

In the initial discussions, Bloomsberg reported that Actelion had rejected a proposal by Johnson & Johnson of $246 per share and the subsequent increase to $250. On its return to the negotiating table, Johnson & Johnson released a statement: “There can be no assurance any transaction will result from these discussions. Johnson & Johnson does not intend to make any additional comments regarding these discussions unless and until it is appropriate to do so, or a formal agreement has been reached.”

Actelion is Europe’s largest biotech company and reported $2.1 billion revenue last year, of which $552 million was profit. Actelion specialises in treatments and products for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Most reports pin the value of the company at around $20 billion but the deal that was reportedly offered by Sanofi would have valued the company at around $30 billion. The reasons why the deal with Sanofi fell through has not yet been revealed.

Ben Hargreaves

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