December 17, 2018 / 5:13 AM / a month ago

Taisho said to near $1.6 billion deal for Bristol-Myers's UPSA: Bloomberg

Employees work on paracetamol production line for UPSA brand of Bristol-Myers Squibb Group at the company's factory in Le Passage, near Agen, France March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

(Reuters) - Japanese healthcare firm Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings Co Ltd (4581.T) is said to be close to a $1.6 billion deal for Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s (BMY.N) French over-the-counter drugs business UPSA, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

An agreement for the consumer-health business could be announced as soon as this week, according to the report bloom.bg/2QyHulF.

Bristol-Myers Squibb said in an email to Reuters that it does not comment on rumors and speculation, adding that the company is still considering options for the strategic review of UPSA that was announced in June.

A Taisho spokesman said the company could not comment on the report.

German drugmaker Stada (STAGn.D) and Italian healthcare company Angelini were among the final bidders for Bristol-Myers’ UPSA unit, according to a Reuters report in November.

Reporting by Bhanu Pratap in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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