Reckitt Benckiser Says No Longer in Talks to Buy Merck Unit

Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB/) said it’s no longer in active talks to buy the consumer-health arm of Merck & Co., saying the purchase doesn’t meet its investment criteria.

“We are a highly disciplined acquirer with strict return metrics, which we will not break,” Reckitt Benckiser Chief Executive Officer Rakesh Kapoor said in an e-mailed statement today. “The consumer health market remains highly fragmented and we will continue to evaluate opportunities that fit both our strategic and financial criteria.”

Bayer AG (BAYN) is proposing a deal for the unit that could include some of the German company’s health-care assets in addition to paying cash, people familiar with the matter said. Reckitt Benckiser said on April 28th that it was in talks with Merck.

To contact the reporter on this story: Celeste Perri in Amsterdam at cperri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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