* Source says Wyeth had proposed 20-euros-plus per share
* Source says Crucell not seeking alternative buyer
* Crucell one of last independent vaccine makers
* Crucell shares stage small recovery after 23 pct drop
(Adds source comment, detail on Pfizer-Wyeth; updates shares)
By Niclas Mika and Quentin Webb
AMSTERDAM/LONDON, Jan 26 Wyeth WYE.N withdrew
from talks to acquire Dutch vaccine-maker Crucell on Monday,
sending Crucell's shares tumbling, as the U.S. drugmaker's own
$68 billion takeover by Pfizer neared agreement.
A source familiar with the matter said Crucell CRCL.AS had
only talked to Wyeth because of an "extremely attractive"
proposal of at least 20 euros a share, and it was not actively
seeking an alternative buyer. Crucell declined to comment.
Shares in Crucell fell as much as 23 percent but later
trimmed losses. They stood 16 percent lower at 13.035 euros a
share by 1337 GMT.
Hours after Crucell said its talks with Wyeth had been
discontinued, Pfizer (PFE.N), the world's largest drugmaker,
said it would buy Wyeth for about $68 billion, helping it
diversify its revenue base. [ID:nN26291129]
The Leiden-based Crucell is one of the world's few remaining
independent vaccine makers. Its shares leapt after it revealed
earlier this month it was talking to Wyeth, but then fell last
week on fears that a Pfizer-Wyeth tie-up could scupper the deal.
Another major drugmaker such as Novartis NOVN.VX or
Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA) could be interested in Crucell but it
would not formally put itself up for sale, the source added.
"The only reason (Crucell) opened up the discussions is
because what was considered an extremely attractive offer was
put on the table," the source said.
Shares in Sanofi fell 2.1 percent on talk it could bid for
Crucell, traders said. A spokesman declined to comment.
A 20-euro-per-share bid for Crucell would value the
company's stock at more than 1.3 billion euros.
Speaking on CNBC, Pfizer Inc Chairman and Chief Executive
Jeff Kindler declined to comment on whether Pfizer would now
seek to acquire Crucell.
Wyeth could not be immediately reached for comment.
Crucell in November posted its first quarterly profit,
boosted by sales of its vaccines and cost savings, and raised
its 2008 sales outlook.
Its sales have been fuelled by strong growth in its
paediatric vaccines, especially Quinvaxem, a vaccine cocktail
for the childhood diseases diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough
and hepatitis B.
(Reporting by Niclas Mika and Quentin Webb; Editing by David
Holmes, Mike Nesbit and Hans Peters)