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Novartis Veterinary Unit Said to Draw Interest From Merck

Novartis AG’s animal-health business is drawing interest from drugmakers including Eli Lilly & Co. and Merck & Co. as the Swiss pharmaceutical giant prepares to sell the unit, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Bayer AG is also preparing for a potential auction of the unit, which makes Sentinel flea control tablets for dogs and the Vira Shield antiviral medicine for cattle. Novartis hasn’t yet invited bids for the business and none of the potential bidders has made an offer, the people said. The company is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on a review of its portfolio that may lead to a sale of the veterinary business, people said last month.