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Bayer shares rise on Novartis takeover rumour

Shares in German pharmaceutical company Bayer have risen on renewed market rumour that Swiss-headquartered Novartis may be considering acquiring the company.

Shares in German pharmaceutical company Bayer have risen on renewed market rumour that Swiss-headquartered Novartis may be considering acquiring the company.

On 15 August 2007, rumours that Novartis might offer EUR 70 per share saw Bayer's stock rise by up to seven per cent.

Bayer has neither confirmed nor denied the takeover, while Novartis has also remained silent on the matter.

Bayer shares rose 3.2 per cent to rest at EUR 56.41 in morning trading on 22 August, while Novartis' shares were slightly lower.

Dresdner Kleinwort analysts have been skeptical that Novartis, which has a market capitalisation of USD 143bn, would make a play for Bayer, which is valued at USD 54bn at the current share price.

Another reason to disbelieve the rumour is that Bayer recently expanded its healthcare business with the 2006 EUR 17bn acquisition of Schering.

22nd August 2007

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