With Novartis Reportedly Mulling An Animal Health Transaction, Merck Is Likely “Next” Discussion Fodder

Recall that Pfizer has completed this 100 per cent spinoff path, as of June 2013 (in the form of Zoetis). Overnight, Novartis has apparently made some noises — so it stands to reason that journalists will start guessing at what Merck’s Animal Health businesses might fetch.

The first of these, in this new round, I think — is out of Bloomberg — and puts a mythical $13 billion “added value” price-tag on any such transaction. I, for one, will be firmly skeptical, of any such eye-popping value add, coming out of Whitehouse Station — or formerly, Summit, NJ.

I am almost equally certain that the various M&A advisory firm bankers (Goldman plainly included here), now jetting about the country (and globe, actually) are carrying pitch books and Powerpoints — with just such nonsense projections baked right in, throughout.

. . .Novartis has identified its animal-health business as a top candidate for a sale as Chairman Joerg Reinhardt revamps the Swiss drugmaker, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Novartis is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on a portfolio review, which is at a relatively early stage, said two of the people, all of whom asked not to be named because the process is confidential. Novartis is also considering selling its over-the-counter medicines unit and the vaccines operation, they said. No final decision on asset sales has been made, the people said. . . .

Uh-huh. Here’s to hoping that Mr. Frazier, and the board, will be able to see through the fog of hype the bankers are forever spinning — with trumped up, and goofy, stand-alone Animal Health company enterprise value calculations. I hope.


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