Deal-talkers J&J, Actelion reportedly land on a price, but spinoff details still pending

Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson and Actelion are working out a deal that would send the Swiss biotech's marketed meds to New Jersey.

Johnson & Johnson and Actelion may have finally settled a key condition of their long-discussed transaction.

The pair has landed on a price for the deal, Bloomberg reports, although sources didn’t tell the news service what that price was. Reuters reported earlier this month that J&J was considering a price in the $260-per-share range for Actelion’s marketed meds, a figure that would bring the buy to more than $28 billion.

Now, word has it the companies are hammering out valuations for Actelion’s R&D assets, which would reportedly be spun off into a new company as part of any acquisition. Which products specifically would go into that unit and how much ownership Actelion’s investors would keep are both under negotiation, but sources say the companies could strike a pact as early as this month.

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J&J’s courtship of the Swiss biotech has been a long one, in part thanks to Actelion founder and CEO Jean-Paul Clozel’s desire to keep a piece of his company flying solo. Earlier talks hit a snag in December when the pair quit talking—only to restart a week later and force Sanofi, which had entered after J&J threw in the towel, out of the picture.

New Jersey-based J&J, which is seeking revenue growth now that a biosimilar competitor to top med Remicade has arrived in the U.S., has been more or less amenable to Clozel's desires, though working out the complex deal structure has been slow going.

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