Nycomed mulls higher bid for Solvay

Remember that potential bidding war for Solvay Pharmaceuticals? It just became more likely. Sources tell Bloomberg that Nycomed is considering a higher offer for the drugs unit of Belgium's Solvay SA. This comes on the heels of yesterday's news that Abbott Labs launched its own bid for the company, and that UCB is considering an offer as well.

Nycomed's initial offer fell between €4 billion and €4.5 billion, or $5.87 billion and $6.6 billion, the sources said. Solvay, however, has set a price target of €5 billion, or $7.35 billion. So Nycomed's bid fell several hundred billion short.

No word on how close Abbott Labs' offer may have come to that target price, or whether UCB will in fact place its own bid. But Bloomberg's sources say there's yet another potential buyer: Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical. No wonder Nycomed thinks it might sweeten its offer.

Solvay's board is meeting day to consider offers for the pharma unit. Bloomberg's sources said the company could announce a deal as soon as next week. So stay tuned.

- read the Bloomberg news