According to people close to the matter, Novartis is in discussions to buy generic drugmaker Amneal Pharmaceuticals as it looks to strengthen its Sandoz unit, Bloomberg reported. Sources suggested that the parties may reach a deal soon, with two people indicating that Amneal could be valued at as much as $8 billion depending on the structure of the transaction.
The sources noted that Amneal is working with an adviser as it explores options, although no final decision on a sale has been made. The people added that the talks with Novartis could still breakdown, or Amneal may attract other suitors.
Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez recently suggested that redeploying cash held in assets, such as its stake in Roche, into acquisitions would be "ideal," highlighting generics as one area that it may look to bolster. "If we were able to locate, let's say, differentiated generics that would strengthen Sandoz's position in certain geographies, that would be another priority," Jimenez remarked.
More recently, Novartis chairman Joerg Reinhardt said the company is considering a sale of its Alcon eye care division.
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