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Report: Sanofi in advanced talks to acquire Actelion

Sanofi is in advanced talks to acquire Swiss drugmaker Actelion Ltd., Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The parties are reportedly discussing a price of about $275 per Actelion share, valuing the company at about $29.6 billion.

Johnson & Johnson had earlier decided to abandon a potential takeover of Actelion, which was asking for more than the U.S. pharma giant was willing to pay. Johnson & Johnson's initial offer for Actelion was CHF246 per share, valuing the company at $26 billion, which Actelion rejected.

The talks between Sanofi and Actelion are said to hinge on the structure of, and drugs included in, a contingent value right for Actelion stockholders. The CVR would be paid out depending on the performance of future drugs in the pipeline.

Sanofi has been in search of products to offset a decline in sales of its leading product, Lantus, an insulin product, and acquiring Actelion could help the French drugmaker increase its rare disease portfolio.