Rumor Mill: Novartis may bid for Bayer

Bayer stock is humming today on rumors that Novartis will mount a buyout of the giant German pharma company. European wire services quoted an offering price of €70 per share (about $94), citing anonymous traders--and giving investors plenty of room to buy Bayer stock. The company currently has a market value of $56.5 billion and the supposed Novartis offer would value it at $73.1 billion.

Adding fuel to the rumors, a Novartis spokesman offered a mere "no comment" rather than a "no" when asked about a Bayer offer. And flush with the cash it got from its sale of Gerber to Nestle, the company has said it's looking at possible acquisitions. But some pharmaceuticals analysts said a deal seemed unlikely. Bayer only just completed its acquisition of Schering, for one thing, and the quoted price seems a bit high. 

- read the report from MarketWatch

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