M&A talk prompts Actelion to weigh options

With rumors of a buyout swirling, Actelion has formed a special board committee to look at "strategic alternatives" for the company, including a potential sale, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The committee has already hired a financial adviser, and it's going to open its doors for talks with interested buyers.

WSJ's sources cite Bristol-Myers Squibb--a potential deal that spawned furious speculation yesterday--as well as Roche, GlaxoSmithKline and Amgen. Kepler Capital Markets analyst Tero Weckroth wrote in a note that Bayer would be a good match with Actelion, but sources close to the German drugmaker tell Reuters that Bayer's not interested.

The company's chosen future may not end up including a sale, however. As WSJ points out, Actelion CEO Jean-Paul Clozel has said he would prefer the company remain independent. "It makes sense that they evaluate their options," Raymond James analyst Eric Le Berrigaud tells Bloomberg. "It may not necessarily mean a sale. It could mean, for example, a strong shareholder coming in."

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