Reckitt Benckiser in Talks to Buy Merck's Consumer-Health Business--Update

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Tapan Panchal and Peter Loftus

LONDON--Consumer-goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC Monday confirmed that it was in talks with Merck & Co. regarding an offer for Merck's consumer-health business.

"We understand that we are part of a competitive process," Reckitt Benckiser said in a short statement, adding that the there was no certainty over the outcome or timing of this potential transaction.

A Merck spokesman said, "We have no comment on this specific matter, but we continue to evaluate strategic options for all of our businesses, including our consumer-care business."

Reckitt Benckiser said it would make a further announcement in due course, if appropriate.

Shares of Reckitt Benckiser on Monday closed at 4,845 pence, valuing the company at GBP34.89 billion ($58.62 billion). Merck shares were down 1 cent to $57.23 in afternoon New York trading.

Write to Tapan Panchal at Tapan.Panchal@wsj.com and Peter Loftus at peter.loftus@wsj.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires


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