After the report of Johnson & Johnson retreating its chase of the Swiss drug company, french medication giant Sanofi SA is reportedly interested in closing a deal with Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
However it is still far from conclusion and no price tag has been disclosed in this latest news or what structure is proposed, but it is estimated that the transaction could value Actelion at as much as $30 billion.
Earlier on Tuesday Johnson & Johnson announced to come out of the bidding war, citing high price tag from Actelion. After J&J’s report, Actelion admitted it was “engaged in discussions with another party” without giving more detail. People familiar with the matter said the party is Sanofi, which in recent times lost a heated auction it kicked off, for cancer biotech Medivation Inc.
Meanwhile Actelion, in the past has been unaffected by to takeover advances, could eventually choose to stay independent or strike a transaction that falls short of a full buyout. Likewise, Sanofi could walk away if it also thinks that the price is too high, especially now that it doesn’t have competition.
Just like Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi would be keen in adding Actelion’s rare-disease drugs to an old portfolio whose main products are losing patent protection. A much cheaper copy of Sanofi’s top-selling product, the insulin Lantus, is likely to go on sale in the U.S. this month.
Furthermore to counterbalance the damages, Paris-based Sanofi tried to takeover Medivation, but rival Pfizer Inc. won the race in August, with a $14 billion bid.