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Zoetis Inc. Spikes Briefly On Remarks From Sanofi CEO

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Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS) spiked briefly Tuesday after a larger competitor said it was interested in further acquisitions in the veterinary medicine sector.

Paris-based Sanofi SA's (NYSE: SNY) interim chief executive Serge Weinberg said the company, with a market capitalization of $124.01 billion is "ready to explore" further acquisitions in the animal health sector.

Sanofi's Merial animal health unit accounted for about about EU2 billion of Sanofi's EU33.3 billion in 2013 sales.

Merial last week agreed to acquire a Puerto Rico packaging facility from Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) for an undisclosed price. The facility will continue to manufacture and packaging Merial's Heartgard veterinary drug.

Florham Park, New Jersey-based Zoetis, with a market capitalization of $22.5 billion, was spun off last year from Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). Its shares are up nearly 20 percent since last month when activist investor William Ackman reportedly acquired a 10 percent stake.

Unnamed sources cited at the time by The Wall Street Journal speculated that Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc. (NYSE: VRX) might seek to acquire Zoetis as a "fallback plan" if its now-failed effort to acquire Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN) backed by Ackman fell through.

Zoetis shares, up 4 percent earlier, were nearly unchanged recently at $43.67.

Posted-In: Heartgard MerialM&A News Management Intraday Update

 

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