Wait a second. J&J is back in the bidding for Actelion, elbowing Sanofi aside

One minute reporters for Bloomberg and Reuters are telling you that the Sanofi $SNY takeover talks with Actelion $ATLN are progressing nicely, and the next minute Sanofi is out and J&J is back in.

Just seven days after J&J formally said it was pushing away from the deal table and dropping an effort to buy Actelion, the pharma giant now has entered into “exclusive negotiations” with the Swiss biotech.

Actelion said in a statement:

There can be no assurance any transaction will result from these discussions. Actelion 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.

While there are no guarantees, it’s likely that these two players are much closer to an understanding after lengthy discussions earlier. The latest figure on a buyout hovered around $30 billion, with a possible CVR in the mix. The CVR was from Sanofi, though, which badly needs to complete some kind of buyout after it was forced to step aside and let Pfizer acquire Medivation.

As we know, not every insider source really knows what is going on. But it looks like something definitive is brewing.

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