News last update:6 Aug 2012

Bayer and Novartis interested in Pfizer Animal Health

Bayer, the largest German drugmaker, is considering a bid for Pfizer's animal-health unit and discussing how to raise money with banks, said sources with knowledge of the plans. Novartis also is showing signs of interest.

Bayer is in the early stages of considering a bid, but may ultimately decide against making one, souces said, who declined to be identified because the process is confidential.
The Pfizer veterinary business is likely to fetch $14 billion to $18 billion in a sale, according to research firm Leerink Swann.

Novartis, Europe's second-biggest pharmaceutical company, may also be interested in the business, people in familiar with the company said.

Bidding for the Pfizer unit would be Bayer's second major attempt in three years to bulk up its veterinary-products operation.

The Leverkusen, Germany-based company offered €6 to 7 billion ($9.2 billion) in 2009 for Schering-Plough's Intervet unit, sources said at the time. Bayer lost that deal after the sale was scrapped by the owner.

Novartis recently approached Pfizer about buying the unit, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The preliminary offer, which valued the unit at as much as $16 billion, was rebuffed, and it's unclear whether Novartis will make a new bid, the newspaper said.

Pfizer is shedding its animal health and nutrition businesses as part of CEO Ian Read's plan to focus on developing new prescription drugs after losing patent protection for Lipitor, a cholesterol pill and the world's best- selling medicine.

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