ZURICH Shares in Swiss biotech company Actelion (ATLN.S) plunged on Tuesday after a report the company was not actively considering selling itself, but instead weighing a "complicated deal" to link with U.S. healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N).
Actelion shares fell more than 8 percent in early trading, after having risen sharply over the last four days to value the company at about $20 billion amid takeover speculation.
Johnson & Johnson approached Actelion Chief Executive Jean-Paul Clozel expecting him to reject a takeover, so it instead has focused on another proposal to take a major stake in the Swiss company while leaving it independent, the Financial Times reported late on Monday.
Actelion declined to comment on the FT report. A Johnson & Johnson spokesman also declined comment.
(Reporting by John Miller, editing by Michael Shields)