Germany's Merck KGaA is reportedly trying to sell its infertility-treatment business in an effort to get out of the women's health arena, Bloomberg is saying, citing two people with knowledge of the plan. And one name being bandied about as a potential purchaser is generics giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NASDAQ: TEVA).
Merck borrowed $4.8 billion this year to buy Millipore, and the company's CFO recently told analysts last week that Merck aims to repay debt. The deal was designed to boost Merck's chemicals business, which was generating roughly 25 percent of its total revenue. With the Millipore buyout, that number is estimated to rise to 35 percent.
The infertility drug deal could prove to be an interesting opportunity for Teva, which is seeking to expand its women's health business and may be interested in the treatments, Bloomberg quotes analyst Frances Cloud as saying. "You'd probably get interest from biotech and mid-size pharma, and private equity," Cloud adds.
Merck's infertility drugs include Gonal-f, Pergoveris, Ovidrel/Ovitrelle, Luveris, Crinone and Cetrotide. Merck acquired the business in 2007 when it purchased Serono SA, which pioneered infertility treatments in the 1960s, based on hormones extracted from the urine collected from postmenopausal nuns, Bloomberg reports.
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