November 29, 2016 / 8:25 AM / 2 years ago

Actelion shares plunge on report it eyes 'complicated' J&J deal

A general view shows Swiss biotech group Actelion Headquarters in Allschwil, Switzerland, February 17, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - 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

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