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Merck Mulls Sale Of Coppertone

April 29, 2014

Will sell consumer healthcare unit for $14B.

The sun has set on Merck's sun care business—and its consumer healthcare business, too.


According to reports, Merck could agree a deal to sell its consumer healthcare operations this week for almost $14 billion, with Germany's Bayer and UK-based Reckitt Benckiser the leading companies interested in the unit. Other companies said to be in the running include, Procter & Gamble, Novartis and Sanofi.


Merck is looking to sell the operations as it only holds around 1% of the market.


A deal would be the latest in a wave of blockbuster transactions to have swept the healthcare sector recently, such as Pfizer's $100 billion-plus reported offer to acquire AstroZeneca, Valeant and Bill Ackman's $47 billion play for Allergan, Zimmer's agreement to purchase Biomet for $13.35 billion and a series of deals involving Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly.


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