Lonza's potential Catalent buy remains under wraps

Lonza HQ

Scant information has emerged since reports began to circulate late last week that Swiss life sciences company Lonza Group ($LONN) was making a run at Catalent ($CTLT), a U.S.-based drug delevoper.

In a report that cited unnamed sources, Reuters said the two were in talks. The news sent Catalent shares soaring 12%, boosting its market capitalization to almost $4 billion.

Those same sources, however, said the two sides had been, so far, unable to agree on a price for Catalent. Lonza has been in an acquisition mode in recent years, snapping up smaller bioscience companies in the U.S. Back in 2011, Lonza shelled out $1.4 billion for chemical maker Arch Chemicals.

Both companies declined to comment on the rumors.

If Lonza, which has a market capitalization of about $9 billion, were to reach terms for Catalent it would give the Swiss company a bigger reach in the life sciences arena and the capability to produce an expanded line of molecules for active pharmaceutical ingredients and drug delivery, the news agency said.

New Jersey-based Catalent, which has 31 facilities globally, has only been publicly traded since 2014. It was acquired from Cardinal Health ($CAH) by private equity firm Blackstone Group ($BX) in 2007 for $3.3 billion.

- here’s the Reuters story