Market watchers can wag their tongues all they like, says Bayer CEO Werner Wenning (photo). The company isn't vulnerable to a takeover, he told a German newspaper, because its market cap of €42 billion is just too much for a suitor to swallow. Wenning acknowledged that "you can't rule out anything, especially not in the current environment," but allowing for a slim possibility isn't the same thing as admitting a fair chance.
You'll recall that last week, rumors of a Pfizer takeover boosted Bayer shares, in spite of the fact that Pfizer has been pooh-poohing talk of doing any big buyout deals. Wenning's reponse didn't stop traders from bidding up Bayer stock yet again, this time to a seven-month high.
Meanwhile, Bayer has been working on a deal of its own: It has agreed to acquire the German drug developer Direvo Biotech for $298 million. A protein engineering expert, Direvo will help beef up Bayer's capabilities in biologic drugs.