NJ-based Sanofi has joined the bidding for Merck's over-the-counter health-products unit, according to Bloomberg sources.
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.
According to Bloomberg, Reckitt Benckiser Group, which sells Clearasil acne treatment cream, is the most aggressive bidder and frontrunner in a bidding war estimated at $10-$12 billion. Final bids are due next week.
Sanofi has been pushing to expand its consumer healthcare portfolio through targeted aquisitions since 2008. The portfolio includes pain killers, digestive disorder remedies such as Rolaids and Maalox, and Allegra allergy meds.
Read the Bloomberg story