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Actelion May Buy Basilea Before Sale to Glaxo, Helvea Says

Actelion Ltd., Switzerland’s largest biotechnology company, may acquire Basilea Pharmaceutica AG before selling itself to GlaxoSmithKline Plc, according to an analyst at Helvea SA.

Basilea has 600 million Swiss francs ($622 million) of tax losses carried forward that Actelion could profit from, the analyst, Olav Zilian, wrote in a report today. Actelion probably would pay more than 105 francs a share for Basilea, he wrote. Glaxo, in turn, would buy a majority stake in Actelion to gain, among other things, access to Basilea’s Toctino eczema treatment, Zilian wrote.

The scenario is “reasonably likely,” wrote Zilian, who recommends buying Actelion and Basilea shares. The analyst wasn’t immediately available for comment. Roland Haefeli, a spokesman for Actelion, Claire Brough, a spokeswoman for London- based Glaxo, and Adesh Kaul, a spokesman at Basilea, declined to comment.

Basilea rose 2.80 francs, or 4.1 percent, to 71.35 francs at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Switzerland. The Basel, Switzerland-based company has a market value of 683.9 million francs.

Actelion formed a committee of its board to consider strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, a person with first-hand knowledge of the matter said Oct. 8. Glaxo is among drugmakers that have informally contacted the Allschwil, Switzerland-based company about possible collaborations, the person said.

An Actelion purchase of Basilea would take place after a ruling in the fourth quarter in an arbitration case between Basilea and Johnson & Johnson, Zilian wrote. Basilea last year filed a claim against J&J relating to delays in the development of ceftobiprole, a drug designed to treat complicated skin infections.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dermot Doherty in Geneva at ddoherty9@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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