Abbott to join bidding for Solvay's pharma unit

As the global financial markets stabilize, the world economy starts recovering and stock markets rally, the pharmaceutical sector, too, is heating up with almost daily deal action. On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported Abbott Laboratories (ABT) has joined the bidding for the pharmaceutical unit of Belgian conglomerate Solvay SA, pitting it against Nycomed AG. Abbott's offer, the WSJ says, could be valued at €4 billion to €5 billion ($5.9 billion to $7.4 billion).

Privately held Swiss drugmaker Nycomed recently put forward an offer to buy Solvay's pharmaceutical unit for between €4 billion and €4.5 billion, according to Dow Jones Newswires sources. Reuters reported the bid was as high as €5 billion. This puts Abbott's bid in strong competition with Nycomed's.