Valeant in talks to sell Salix stomach-drug unit in $10 billion deal

Wed Nov 2, 2016 1:40am EDT
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By Carl O'Donnell and Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(Reuters) - Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote) said on Tuesday it is in talks with third parties to sell its Salix stomach-drug business and other assets.

The drugmaker did not name the potential buyers it was talking with but people familiar with the matter told Reuters Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (4502.T: Quote) was interested in Salix.

The deal could raise as much as $10 billion for the indebted drugmaker, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Valeant acquired Salix last year for $14.5 billion.

"The discussions may or may not lead to a definitive agreement," Valeant said in a statement late on Tuesday.

"Takeda is continuously considering various options aiming to accelerate its growth. At this point, we have nothing to

be disclosed," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Japanese bourse earlier in the day suspended trading in Takeda shares until the company released its statement. Its shares then fell as much as 4 percent, compared with a 1.8 percent dip in the benchmark Nikkei 225 index .N225.

Valeant is working with investment bank Morgan Stanley on the sale, the people told Reuters. Another bidder may also be interested in the Salix business, they added.   Continued...

A sign for the headquarters of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc is seen in Laval, Quebec June 14, 2016.   REUTERS/Christinne Muschi