Novartis AG’s animal-health business is drawing interest from drugmakers including Eli Lilly & Co. and Merck & Co. as the Swiss pharmaceutical giant prepares to sell the unit, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Thomas Aebischer, who grew up on a farm, studied at Harvard Business School and traversed four continents to secure the top finance post at the world’s largest cement maker, Holcim Ltd. On Sunday, Swiss voters will decide if he deserves his salary.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP advised Shire Plc, which agreed to buy ViroPharma Inc. for about $4.2 billion to gain treatments for rare diseases and lessen dependence on its best-selling Vyvanse pill for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised ViroPharma.
Novartis AG is willing to spend up to $3 billion on acquisitions of consumer-health or veterinary assets to bolster the drugmaker’s undersized businesses in those areas, Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez said.