Lundbeck: Elan buyout not in the cards now

Anyone salivating over the prospect of a Lundbeck-Elan merger? Well, you're out of luck--at least for now. As the Danish pharma was cutting its 2009 profits outlook, its CFO told reporters that market conditions just wouldn't support a deal for Elan. "I don't see that, at this point in time, it would be possible to borrow the money needed to buy a company the size of Elan," CFO Anders Gotzsche told Reuters.

As you know, Elan has been looking for a buyer or strategic partner--or at the very least a new strategy--since it hired Citigroup in January to check out the possibilities. Lundbeck has been rumored as a possible bidder over and over, and Elan shares have gone up when the gossip surges--and down when it ebbs. (Not surprising, then, that Elan was down 5.1 percent this morning.)

But at least for now, it looks as if Lundbeck may be out of the running. Credit markets have picked up a bit, but funding isn't flowing as it once was. Plus, Lundbeck is caught up in absorbing Ovation--and the acquisitions costs that came with that deal. That's why its profits forecast is down, despite increased revenues.

- read the Reuters news
- get the Lundbeck earnings story from Dow Jones