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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The U.S. drug company Bristol-Myers Squibb is said to be in merger talks with Sanofi Aventis of France. Together the two companies would create the world’s largest pharmaceutical firm. From the European desk, Stephen Beard reports.
STEPHEN BEARD: Neither company will confirm the reports but seasoned observers say they do appear to be cooking up a deal.
A merger would create a behemoth. Together the two companies would have revenues of $56 billion a year, well ahead of the current No. 1 Pfizer.
Together Sanofi and Bristol-Myers would have a stock market value of $175 billion.
Size and strength is the object in an increasingly competitive industry, says Justin Urquart-Stewart of Seven Investment.
JUSTIN URQUART-STEWART: Because of the development cost of these super drugs — they not only take a huge amount of time but a huge amount of capital — therefore there is some benefit in being a strong corporation that can sustain this over time.
The French authorities are thought likely to approve the deal since the French company Sanofi would be the senior partner.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
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