April 28, 2014 / 4:20 PM / in 4 years

Reckitt Benckiser confirms talks to buy Merck unit

LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) - Britain’s Reckitt Benckiser Group confirmed on Monday it was in talks to buy Merck & Co Inc’s consumer health business, the latest asset up for grabs in a wave of pharmaceutical deals.

The consumer products group emerged as a front runner in the auction for the unit, best known for Coppertone sunscreen and Claritin allergy medicine, at the weekend, according to Reuters. Germany’s Bayer AG is also vying to buy the unit, which could fetch about $13.5 billion.

“RB confirms that it is in discussions with Merck regarding an offer for its consumer health business,” the company said on Monday. “We understand that we are part of a competitive process.” (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)

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