Novartis reportedly seeking merger partners
The Swiss life sciences giant, Novartis, is looking for merger partners in the United States, according to Britain's Financial Times newspaper. The FT says Novartis has its sights on a tie-up with with American Home Products or Pharmacia and Upjohn.
The Swiss life sciences giant, Novartis, is looking for merger partners in the United States, according to a report in Britain's Financial Times newspaper. The paper says Novartis has its sights on a tie-up with with American Home Products or Pharmacia and Upjohn.
Citing sources close to the company, the FT says Novartis is exploring a possible deal with American Home Products, whose merger with Warner-Lambert is close to collapse.
It says Novartis is also considering approaching Pharmacia and Upjohn, the US-Swedish group which has agreed a deal with the US life sciences company, Monsanto.
Novartis has refused to comment on the reports.
The rumours follow Monday's announcement of a merger between British pharmaceutical giants, Glaxo Wellcome and Smithkline Beecham. If that goes ahead, the deal will create the biggest pharmaceuticals group in the world.
But the reports should be taken with a pinch of salt, according to Bank Leu trader, Eleanor Sharraz, though she says nothing can be ruled out in the future.
"Anything could be possible for Novartis", she says. "They might even merge with Roche. But I think it is premature to make any further assumptions, given the merger mania in the pharmaceuticals sector."
Things may become clearer next month when Novartis launches an investor roadshow in the US. The company's chairman, Daniel Vasella, is keen to beef up the group's presence in the world's biggest market. During the roadshow, he is expected to outline plans for a US stock listing.
That would make any mergers or acquisitions much easier.
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