Bayer diabetes unit sale unlikely - sources

FRANKFURT Fri Dec 7, 2012 10:05am EST

FRANKFURT Dec 7 (Reuters) - Bayer is unlikely to sell its blood glucose meters business for the time being, after failing to generate sufficient interest from buyers, two people familiar with the situation said on Friday.

They were responding to a Wall Street Journal report that French drugmaker Sanofi was the last remaining bidder for the unit, which Germany's Bayer was looking to sell in a deal valued at around $1.5 billion or more.

One source told Reuters that Sanofi had looked at the Bayer business but had decided not to pursue it as the operation, which has annual sales of about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion), was not sufficiently attractive.

The idea that Bayer might sell the unit was first raised in May. German newspapers reported in October, however, that Bayer had called off the sale, after failing to find a bidder willing to pay a high enough price.

Officials at Bayer and Sanofi declined to comment on Friday.

Other major suppliers of glucose monitors, which are used by people with diabetes, include Roche, Johnson & Johnson and Abbott Laboratories.

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