5. Eli Lilly/Novartis Animal Health

Deal value: $5.4 billion
Deal status: Open

Eli Lilly ($LLY) has been making one or two small acquisitions a year in the animal health space to improve its position. With its April deal to buy Novartis' ($NVS) animal health business for $5.4 billion, it propelled its Elanco from a mid-tier player to number two in the world by sales.

For Novartis, it was one piece of a three-way deal to slim down and get focused. The other pieces of that deal were among the top 10 in M&A action in the first half of the year, as well. For Lilly, it was a way to expand in a business that has been turning in solid growth, which at 6% last year was much better than the 2% revenue growth of the company as a whole.

Elanco had sales last year of about $2.2 billion, while the Novartis unit reported $1.1 billion in annual sales. Novartis helps Elanco expand in the companion animal and swine market in particular. That deal followed its February agreement to buy privately held Lohmann Animal Health for an undisclosed amount. The Germany-based company is a specialist in poultry vaccines.

For more:
Special Report: Top 10 animal health companies of 2013 - Elanco
Eli Lilly's Elanco snags Novartis' animal health unit in $5.4B deal

-- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)

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5. Eli Lilly/Novartis Animal Health