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Johnson & Johnson in preliminary talks to acquire Actelion

By Allen Cone
Actelion, a biopharmaceutical company in Allschwil, Switzerland, said it has been approached by Johnson & Johnson, a U.S. healthcare giant, about being acquired. Photo by ngenieurlösungen/Wikimedia Commons
Johnson & Johnson, a U.S. healthcare giant, said Friday it is in preliminary talks to acquire Actelion, a biopharmaceutical company in Swtizerland.
"Actelion confirmed today that it has been approached by Johnson & Johnson about a possible transaction," the company said in a statement. "There can be no certainty that a transaction will result."
"There can be no assurance any transaction will result from these discussions," Johnson & Johnson said in a statement. "Johnson & Johnson does not intend to make any additional comments regarding these discussions unless and until it is appropriate to do so, or a formal agreement has been reached."
In Zurich, shares of Actelion climbed 17 percent to $181.50, the biggest jump since April 2012. Bloomberg reported Actelion's market valuation at Friday's close was $19.9 billion.
Founded in late 1997, Actelion is Europe's largest biotech firm and a leader in the field of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Actelion's two new lung medicines, Opsumit and Uptravi, have surpassed its Tracleer. The older drug lost its U.S. patent protection last year to treat high blood pressure that affects arteries in the lungs.
Actelion has 2,560 employees and sales of 2.01 billion in 2015, according to its financial statement.
Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, N.J. has approximately 126,900 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson operating companies with sales of $70 billion last year, according to its financial report.
According to its website, Johnson & Johnson "offers the world's largest range of consumer healthcare products" in baby care, skin care, oral care, wound care, over-the-counter and women's health products.

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