Novartis AG is drawing interest from potential bidders for its human-vaccines unit as talks to swap its animal-health business for assets from Merck & Co. slow down, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Novartis AG is in talks with Merck & Co. to trade its animal-health and human vaccines businesses for the New Jersey drugmaker’s over-the-counter health-products unit, people familiar with the matter said.
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.
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.