Asset Swap Rumors: Bayer Offers Animal Health, Cash for Merck OTC

Reuters sources are reporting that Bayer AG is offering to swap its animal health assets, plus pay the remainder of the acquisition price in cash, for Merck & Co.'s consumer healthcare business.

Reuters reported in late February that Bayer AG, Novartis, Procter & Gamble Co. and Reckitt Benckiser Group were all exploring the deal for Merck's consumer healthcare business. In March, Sanofic was added to the potential buyer list.

According to Reuters, Bayer and Britain's Reckitt Benckiser Group are among the final contenders for the Merck unit.

Bayer already has a strong portfolio of consumer products, including Aleve and Alka-Seltzer. Reckitt's over-the-counter medicines include Mucinex, Clearasil and the international rights for Scholl foot care.

Read the Reuters press release

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