Bayer Said to Be in Exclusive Talks for Merck Consumer Unit

May 01, 2014 4:59 pm ET

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Bayer AG is in exclusive talks to acquire Merck & Co.’s consumer business and is prepared to pay about $14 billion for the division, people with knowledge of the matter said.

An announcement is likely to come in the next few days, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. An agreement has not been reached yet and talks could still fall through, the people said.

Bayer’s proposal for Merck’s over-the-counter consumer business includes cash and an asset swap, the people said.

Steve Cragle, a spokesman for Merck, said today in a phone interview he had no comment. Gunter Forneck, a spokesman for Bayer, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.