BMS: Buyer or buyout target?

Market-watchers love to speculate. Their latest topic? Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has been paring away its "non-core" businesses over the last few months. Most recently, Bristol agreed to sell off its ConvaTec wound-care unit for $4.1 billion. Now, it's planning to spin off 10 percent to 20 percent of its Mead Johnson baby formula business in an IPO--a deal that could fetch up to $9.1 billion.

Why the sell-offs? One train of thought: BMS is primping for a suitor. By slenderizing, it's making itself more attractive to a bigger drugmaker--say Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novartis, or Sanofi-Aventis.

Another train of thought: Bristol could be gathering up cash for a war chest of its own. That would allow BMS to snap up smaller drug companies to shore up its product portfolio.

- check out the item at Seeking Alpha
- see the skinny at Blogging Stocks
- read Jim Cramer's prognostications at The Street

Related Articles:
BMS sources discount chance of Sanofi buyout
Report: Sanofi-Aventis inks preliminary deal for BMS
Patent victory reignites rumors of BMS takeover
Rumor Mill: Is BMS going on the sales block?
Analysts buzzing about possible Bristol-Myers sale