Reuters: Merck's consumer-healthcare ops attract several suitors

|By:, SA News Editor

Novartis (NVS) and Bayer (BAYRY) are among the suitors that are exploring an acquisition of Merck's (MRK) consumer-healthcare business, Reuters reports, adding that the unit could be worth $10-12B.

Reckitt Benckiser (RBGPF) and Procter & Gamble (PG) are also among the companies to have held talks with Merck about a deal. However, GSK (GSK) is not interested.

Novartis and Merck have considered swapping the latter's consumer-healthcare operations for Novartis' animal-health and human vaccines businesses, although such a deal is looking unlikely.