U.S. healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is reported to be approaching Swiss biotechnology firm Actelion about a potential takeover. David Pollard reports.
The famous Johnson & Johnson credo - a long list of beliefs. But missing one: a conviction that to merge is to survive. J&J approaching Swiss biotech Actelion for a potential takeover ... According to a report based on sources. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS, HEAD OF GLOBAL EQUITIES, MATTHEW BEESLEY, SAYING: "This is not a surprise in the context of the broader consolidation that we've seen over the last year or so in the pharmaceuticals sector. Typically, these deals have yielded cost savings of 30 to 40 per cent in the acquired company as R&D and sales and manufacturing get stripped back." Actelion declined to comment, as did J&J. But with a market cap exceeding 300 billion dollars, the US healthcare giant has huge coffers. J&J boss Alex Gorsky wanting deals to expand its main consumer, medical device, and pharmaceuticals segments - in September, buying Abbott Laboratories' eye care business for $4.3 billion. Actelion's overlap with so called PAH therapies could be the hook for this deal. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS, HEAD OF GLOBAL EQUITIES, MATTHEW BEESLEY, SAYING: "They have a very strong pulmonary hyper-tension franchise. But they also likely too have a few products in the pipeline that J&J have seen as attractive." Its shares attractive too - Actelion's market cap of around $17 billion up another 14 per cent as the news appeared. Merger mania for big pharma continuing unabated - reportedly.