Incoming Bayer chief eyes $23B in deals

Bayer's incoming CEO Marijn Dekkers (photo) has access to money--and he's willing to spend it. As Dekkers prepares to take over from current Bayer chief Werner Wenning (photo) this Friday, he told reporters that he's prepared to spend up to $23 billion to beef up the company's healthcare business (and its GMO seeds business, too, but that's beside the pharma point).

Dekkers says he'll be aiming to make acquisitions in those areas, focusing on businesses in which Bayer already has expertise. "We should not position ourselves too broadly," Dekkers said (as quoted by Reuters). "You don't have to be the largest player, as long as you are not too broadly positioned. When we buy something, it will likely be related to what we are already doing."

As the news service notes, Bayer's pharma business currently centers on four areas: women's health, cancer treatment, cardiology, and diagnostic-imaging agents. Dekkers' ability to finance deals of up to $23 billion could put plenty of appropriate companies within range. Nexavar partner Onyx Pharmaceuticals, for instance. Or United Therapeutics, with its pulmonary arterial hypertension meds Remodulin and Tyvaso.  Or Provenge-maker Dendreon ... the list goes on.

- check out the Reuters story