Reckitt Benckiser Says No Longer in Talks to Buy Merck Unit

Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc 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 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.

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