Reuters: Contrast firms eye Bayer's radiology unit

Contrast developers Bracco Imaging and Guerbet are eyeing a possible acquisition of the radiology division of Bayer HealthCare, according to a report published on December 7 by Reuters.

Reports surfaced in June 2016 that Bayer was pondering a sale of the division, which makes contrast agents such as Gadavist and Magnevist for MRI and Ultravist for CT. The division generates annual revenues of about 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion), and an acquisition deal would be valued between 2.7 billion and 4 billion euros ($2.9 billion and $3.7 billion), according to Reuters.

In the most recent article, Reuters reported that Bracco is working with an investment bank to find a partner for the division in a joint offer. French contrast firm Guerbet is working on a similar offer and has also been in discussions with partners, according to Reuters.

While Bayer has not yet made a definitive decision to sell the division, it has retained Goldman Sachs as an advisor and sent information to potential suitors. The actual sales process would be expected to start in 2017. Another option for Bayer would be to sell the division to a private investment firm, Reuters reported.

Bayer has been selling off various divisions in healthcare to narrow its focus in the market to prescription pharmaceuticals and consumer care products, according to Reuters. The company sold its blood glucose meter business to Panasonic Healthcare Holdings in 2015 and its vascular catheter business to Boston Scientific in 2014. It is also rumored to be selling off its dermatology business.

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