Cara Lombardo, Dana Cimilluca, Jonathan D. Rockoff
Merck & Co. /zigman2/quotes/209956077/composite MRK +1.41% /zigman2/quotes/209909728/delayed XE:MRK -0.79% is in advanced talks to acquire Seagen Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203326163/composite SGEN +0.89% and is aiming to finalize a purchase of the cancer biotech in the next few weeks, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that could be worth roughly $40 billion or more.
The companies are discussing a price for Seagen above $200 a share and are seeking to seal a deal on or before the announcement of Merck’s second fiscal-quarter earnings, set for July 28, the people said. Seagen’s stock closed at $175.13 on Wednesday.
There is still no guarantee the companies will reach agreement on a takeover deal.
New Jersey-based Merck has a market value of around $235 billion. Acquiring Seagen would help broaden its lineup of cancer drugs, currently led by the blockbuster immunotherapy Keytruda, the company’s top-selling product with $17.2 billion in sales last year.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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