Actelion (VTX:ATLN) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) have re-entered talks to reach a takeover deal, after the US healthcare giant reportedly abandoned its efforts last week. Some suggest that this could mean the end of Sanofi‘s (NYSE:SNY) attempt to make a deal with the Swiss biotech firm, according to Reuters.
J&J and Actelion had been engaged in informal talks for nearly 2 months and J&J’s initial offer was valued at 250 Swiss francs per share before the company backed out. Actelion has a market value of 23.2 billion Swiss francs, nearly $23 billion USD. ATLN shares were trading at 215 Swiss francs per share in afternoon trading activity today, up 6.5%.
French drugmaker Sanofi reportedly stepped in to pursue negotiations with Actelion last week. The company is on the hunt for a deal ever since it lost a bid for Medivation to Pfizer’s $14 billion offer in August. Analysts said Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt cannot afford to fail in a 2nd high-profile bid, Reuters reported.
Actelion CEO Jean-Paul Clozel has made efforts to maintain the company’s independence, like in 2011 when he rallied shareholders against a hedge fund’s attempt to sell the firm.
“It wasn’t about price, he simply doesn’t want to give up control,” a source close to J&J told Reuters when the company backed out of talks last week.
In response to the latest development, Actelion said there “can be no assurance any transaction will result from these discussions.”