Who'll Swallow Bayer?

When German conglomerate Bayer announced late last year that it is seeking a majority partner for its drug business, speculation swirled that a rival pharmaceutical giant would snap it up. Bayer seemed attractive not for its illustrious past (the company launched the modern pharmaceutical industry with its 1897 invention of aspirin) or high-volume present (it has annual pharma revenues of j4.8 billion), but for its future: the company has a sexual-potency drug, Levitra, ready to come on the market this year, which is touted as the next Viagra. The prize is almost certainly worth billions in sales.

But...

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