Actelion's CEO Said to Reject Full Takeover by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), May Sell Unit - Source

November 30, 2016 11:14 AM EST

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Despite an offer from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Actelion's (OTC: ALIOY) CEO Jean-Paul Clozel has decided that the company will remain independent, according to a person claiming to have knowledge of the matter. As an alternative to being acquired, Actelion has agreed to sell a unit that includes PAH drug Opsumit, a growth asset that would likely be very attractive to Johnson & Johnson.

Last week Actelion confirmed initial reports from StreetInsider and Bloomberg that it was approached regarding a possible transaction, but details weren't provided, and doubts about a full takeover by the U.S. drug giant were apparent from the start given prior comments from Clozel. Days later a Financial Times article suggested that Actelion was considering a "complicated deal" to combine with part of Johnson & Johnson.

Separate reports from Bloomberg yesterday said Johnson & Johnson increased its offer for Actelion from $26 billion and was provided access to some financial information. The report also suggested Clozel may now be more open to entertaining a sale at a sufficient premium. To the extent that a sale would include full control of Actelion -- reportedly one of Johnson & Johnson’s ultimate goals -- a deal appears unlikely.

Representatives for Actelion didn't respond to a request to comment.

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