Some of the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical's leading drugs, including heartburn treatment Nexium and antipsychotic Seroquel, face patent expiration in coming years and will have to deal with competition from cheap generics. So far, the company's pipeline hasn't found replacements for the impending lost sales. So it is looking at other strategies, including divestment of assets and refocusing on its core business.
The Financial Times added that its source pointed to 3M (MMM) and Danaher (DHR) as possible buyers of dental businesses in the U.S. Possible buyers in Switzerland include Nobel Biocare and Straumann. Reuters added possible interest from privately held Biomet, Medtronic (MDT) and Dentsply International (XRAY).
Bloomberg added that AstraZeneca was also considering selling Aptium Oncology, a chain of outpatient cancer centers it owns in the U.S., for less than $500 million, which could interest privateequity funds.
AstraZeneca shares climbed 0.6% in early morning trading.