Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (SLXP) Approached by Allergan Inc. (AGN)

According to a Wall Street Journal report that references sources familiar with the matter, Allergan Inc. (AGN) has approached Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (SLXP) and at least one other company about a potential acquisition, as the Botox maker tries to prevent a $53 billion hostile takeover from Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int’l Inc (VRX) and Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman.

The publication said that it’s unclear yet where the talks between Allergan and Salix stand, but one of the sources told the paper that “Allergan could strike a takeover deal with the company or another unknown party as early as next month.”

Salix Pharmaceuticals, which currently has a market cap of $9.71 billion, announced last month that it is merging with a subsidiary of Cosmo Pharmaceuticals, an Italian specialty drug company, in a deal valued at $2.6 billion. The Journal notes that a deal the size of a Salix takeover, which with a premium could exceed $10 billion, could make it much more difficult for Valeant and Ackman to acquire Allergan, given that would make it a more expensive and complicated proposition.

Shares of AGN climbed 2.50% to $155.68 late Tuesday morning. Salix spiked almost 10% to $152.20.

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